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Bladen County Board of Elections Appointed Member Declines Position 

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On Jun 29, 2021, the North Carolina State Board of Elections announced their Board appointed four members to all 100 county boards of elections.

Every two years, state statute requires the State Board to appoint four members, two from each leading party, to the county boards of elections. Gov. Roy Cooper will appoint the fifth member, who will serve as chair. Board members serve two-year terms, which expire in July 2023. See the county board appointees (PDF) list, according to the State Board of Elections press release.

According to the State Board’s press release, the state chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties recommended three registered voters in each county for appointment. The State Board appointed two of those individuals from each party. Each appointment is contingent on the nominee having properly completed an application and agreeing not to engage in prohibited political speech while serving on the county board.

For the Bladen County Board of Elections, the State Board reappointed Republicans Michael Aycock and Emery White and Democrat Deborah Belle. Democrat Hakeem Brown was the newcomer selected to be appointed. Mr. Brown was slated to replace Democrat Patsy Sheppard on the local Board. 

However, on Wednesday, June 30, Bladen County Board of Elections Director Christopher Williams reported the local Board received a letter from Mr. Brown stating he would be unable to take the position due to circumstance changes. 

Director Williams said he would send the letter from Mr. Brown to the State Board. The State Board will need another nomination from the Democrat party for Mr. Brown’s position. 

Bladen County Democrat Chairperson Rev. Larry Hayes explained he had nominated Mr. Brown and Mrs. Sheppard to the State Democrat party for the local Board of Elections appointed seats. According to Rev. Hayes, the State Board declined Mrs. Sheppard’s reappointment. The local Democrat party does have someone else in mind to nominate for the other Bladen County Board of Election Democrat seat. 

According to an email sent by Director Williams, the Bladen County Board of Elections will meet on July 20th,  2021, at 11:30 a.m. at the elections office in Elizabethtown. Those members appointed this year will be sworn in at 12 noon during the meeting.