Raleigh – Yesterday, the North Carolina Republican Party released their nominees to the State Board of Election. In a bad faith attempt to stack the board with partisan cronies, their list included two names who are not fit to serve under the new law and two champions of voter suppression on college campuses.
“With the entire world watching, North Carolina Republicans are trying to stack the State Board of Elections with partisan hacks, political cronies, champions of voter suppression, and people who are not legally allowed to serve,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “This is just another bad faith attempt by Republicans to rig our elections after they spent years attacking and tearing down the credibility of our state board members.”
Francis Deluca, the former president of the ultra-conservative group Civitias, is not allowed to serve under the current law. The statute states that no person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the State Board who has held a position with an organization that has engaged in electioneering within 48 months prior to appointment. Deluca resigned from Civitas in 2018 and signed an electioneering communication report as late as November 2, 2016.
This same statute applies to Buck Newton, a former state senator who ran as the Republican candidate for Attorney General in 2016. Newton launched in 2018 the NC Voter ID PAC, an independent expenditure committee engaged in electioneering around the constitutional amendments. The group ran TV advertisements against Democratic candidates, per a disclosure report.
Edwin “Eddie” Woodhouse, a relation of NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse, represents a clear conflict of interest. Eddie assumed a position on the Wake board after Dallas used a private email address to command the Republican member of the Wake County Board of Elections to appoint Eddie to the Wake BOE.
Eddie went on to be the foremost champion of voter suppression in Wake county. After being appointed in 2016, his “first motion as a board member was to eliminate Sunday voting hours.” (Republicans’ massive voter suppression package was ruled unconstitutional for, among other reasons, their efforts to eliminate Sunday early voting, which African-American churches often use to organize minority voters to vote.) A later motion to remove a polling location from North Carolina State University, the largest university in the state, failed after the other Republican on the board refused to second it.
Stacy “Four” Eggers similarly led the charge to limit early voting on college campuses. Four was ejected from an Appalachian State University early voting site in 2016 after trying to intimidate student voters and has a long history of pushing voter suppression efforts.
In 2013, Eggers played “a key role in crafting what critics view as an effort to thwart students at Appalachian State University from voting, to muzzle public comments at elections board meetings by requiring that they be submitted in writing, and to neuter the ability of Jane Hodges, the elections director, to offer advice at public meetings.” He secretly authored a resolution to suppress ASU voters, moving a polling location from the student union to a nightclub at the edge of campus. His “behind-the-scenes role makes a sham of what should be an open and transparent democratic process at board meetings,” according to officials.