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Board of Elections Closes Out 2020, Readies for 2021

by Blake Proctor

Assembling telephonically once more due to an increase in the incidence of the Xi Jinpingfluenza in the county, the January 12th meeting of the Board of Elections convened at 5:05pm with all members but Michael Aycock in virtual attendance.

Following a roll call of attending members, Chair Louella Thompson turned the meeting over to Executive Director Chris Williams, who informed the Board that most of the activities since the hand-to-eye random sampling count on December 11th are consisting of post-election housekeeping tasks to close out the election cycle.

The next undertaking Board staff will be the “No Contact Biennial List Maintenance,” performed every odd year, and which separates the active voters from the inactive. This year, the Board will be sending out some 2,300 cards to registered voters who have not voted since the August 16, 2019 special election.

In accordance with NC Statute 163-82.14, if the Board does not receive a reply from the voter within 30 days of the date on the card, that voter is placed on the inactive rolls; despite this status, the voter will still be considered as registered.

On February 8th, the Board will be sending out standard National Change of Address (NCOA) cards to ensure registered voters are both valid Bladen County voters, and still in their correct precincts. As with the “No Contact” cards, voters have 30 days to return their cards.

Mr. Williams informed the Board that they had received a Public Records Request from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) for the names, ages and genders of all the poll workers for this general election. He said that the Board gets the same request from SCSJ following every election.

He reminded the Board that the next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 9th. Additionally, he reiterated that in 2021, as in all odd-numbered years (despite how very odd 2020 was – Ed.), only municipal elections will be held.

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 5:19pm.

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