UPDATE on Volatile voting situation in Forsyth County North Carolina

After noon Update:

I just got off the phone with Don Wright, the General Counsel for the NC SBoE.
The Forsyth BoE is meeting right now (12:20) to have that vote.
The SBOE sent a “Show Cause Order” to the Forsyth County Board of Elections first thing this morning, to express concern as to why they were delaying this important vote.

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Well, Forsyth is the one county that actually voted to disregard the SBOE’s directive to hand out the voter ed flyers about straight ticket voting.

The State Board of Elections issued two directives that the Forsyth County Board of Elections voted to disregard:

1. October 22, 2008 Straight ticket voter education hand outs directive

From: Johnnie McLean [mailto:Johnnie.McLean at ncmail.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:07 PM

To: Directors.boe

Cc: ElectTechs.Sboe;

Subject: IMPORTANT INFORMATION

In order to ensure that all voters receive the information about President/Vice President being voted separately from all other offices you are directed to reproduce the following message (printed four to a page to be cut) and hand/mail to each voter when the ballot/voting equipment is assigned to the voter. Any color paper may be used to duplicate this information. This measure is in addition to the verbal instructions the pollworkers are to provide

************************************************************************

The Forsyth County BoE met on October 28 and discussed straight ticket voting and opening more early voting sites. Minutes here

2. October 30, 2008 call for all County BoEs to discuss extending One-stop Absentee Voting Hours for Saturday November 1, 2008

Due to the extremely heavy voter turnout and long lines at one-stop absentee voting sites, the State Boardof Elections unanimously voted at an emergency telephone conference call meeting today at 11:15 am to direct all county boards of elections to call an emergency meeting to discuss the extension of hours for the one-stop absentee voting sites on Saturday, November 1, 2008. Any called meeting must be posted in accordance with the public meetings laws

Next the NC State Board of Elections issued a “show cause” to the Forsyth County Board of Elections.

Forsyth County Board of Elections Emergency Board Meeting – October 31, 2008, minutes here. Excerpt:

Extending One-Stop on Final Day
Mr. Elliott stated the Board is meeting as required by a “show cause order” from the State Board of Elections.
Mr. Elliott stated he did not think the hours need to be extended. He stated he is concerned about the State Board of Elections changing things after the One-Stop plans have been approved Ms. Sutton moved to extend the One-Stop closing
time to 5:00 PM on Saturday, November 1, 2008.
Mr. Jordan stated the Chairman of the Republican Party directed him to vote in favor of the extended hours because more Republicans are in the city and more early voting sites are in Republican areas. Mr. Jordan seconded the motion to extend the hours of the One Stop locations to 5:00 PM. The motion passed 2-1. (to extend One-Stop closing time).

The Forsyth County BoE plans to make their decision on whether to extend early voting hours – one hour before the early voting sites are scheduled to close. Oh that helps voters alot doesn’t it?

There’s something seriously wrong there:

http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2008/oct/30/301442/nc-elections-board-extends-early-voting-hours/news/

“The Forsyth County Board of Elections will meet at noon Saturday to decide whether to keep the polls open, one hour before the polls are scheduled to close, said Rob Coffman, the Forsyth elections director.”

Background information on North Carolina straight ticket voting problem:

This Year’s Butterfly Ballot New York Times October 27, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/27/opinion/27mon2.htmlNorth Carolina Straight Ticket Confusion

Voting Straight Ticket in North Carolina does NOT include the Presidential contest.
NC Coalition for Verified Voting 10/17/08
http://www.ncvoter.net/straightticket.html

How Bad is North Carolina’s Ballot Flaw? The Numbers Say, Pretty Bad By Lawrence Norden & Margeret Chen, Brennan Center for Justice 10/21/08
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0810/S00348.htm

It May Be Harder to Vote in Swing States By: David Rosenfeld Miller-McCune 10/22/08
http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/799

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