The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 2, 2012

Election chairman cites rule violation

Statute says election board members are not to endorse candidates orally, in writing


Friday, November 2, 2012 — This letter is submitted in response to B.A. Smith’s letter to the editor of the Stanly News & Press, titled “Hudson will work to bring jobs to Stanly,” which was published in the Tuesday, October 30, 2012 issue.

Mr. Smith is a member of the Stanly County Board of Elections. Lisa Burris and I, too, are members of that three-person board, and I serve as its chairman.  

It is the responsibility of the State and County Boards of Election to conduct fair and impartial elections. North Carolina law prohibits a member of the Board of Elections from “making written or oral statements intended for general distribution or dissemination to the public at large supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates for public office,” (See General Statues 163-39 & 163-40).

Unfortunately, in his letter to the editor, Mr. Smith violated both the spirit and letter of this law.  

As chairman of the Stanly County Board of Elections, I wish to defend the integrity of the election process in our county. Our members and staff work diligently to conduct registration, voting, vote counting and vote reporting in strict accordance with all applicable State and Federal laws, and as directed by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. The training of members and staff is intensive and thorough; and in accepting our roles, we recognize and accept the limits placed on our political speech and activities as necessary and appropriate.       

I have spoken to Mr. Smith regarding this issue and informed him that this letter is being sent to the Stanly News & Press, as well as to the chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

K.L. Young Jr.


Stanly County

Board of Elections