By Charlotte Smith
As of Friday, January 18, the North Carolina and Bladen County registered voters’ lists have decreased by the thousands since December 2018.
On December 29th, there were 23,338 registered voters in Bladen County and 7,139,604 registered voters in North Carolina. Now there are 21,221 registered voters in Bladen County and 6,564,003 registered voters in North Carolina.
As of today, there are 575,601 less registered voters on the North Carolina registered voters list. Bladen County has 2,117 less voters on the roll. This should not come as a shock to any one because it has been a process the state and local elections’ office have performed after each election, according to Bobby Ludlum, who was the Bladen County Board of Election’s most recent chair before it disbanded in December 2018.
He said the numbers for Bladen County’s deleted registered voters was about the same this year as it has been every other year he has been involved in the process.
Patrick Gannon, NC State Board of Elections Public Relations Officer, released a statement as well. He said, “The removed voters had been in “Inactive” status since 2016. The boards of elections had not had any contact with them since before the 2016 general election, and the individuals had not voted since then.”
His statement continued, “If a voter is removed from the rolls because of list maintenance activities and subsequently presents to vote, that voter will be allowed to vote if the voter gives oral or written affirmation that he or she has not moved out of the county and has maintained a residence continuously within that county.”
Gannon added, “Counties conduct various list maintenance tasks throughout the year, such as removing voters convicted of felonies and deceased voters. In other words, the biennial list maintenance process described is one of many ways North Carolina strives to keep the voter rolls accurate and up-to-date throughout the year.”
Ludlum also announced today the State Board of Elections will be appointing five (5) members to the Bladen County Board of Elections once the State Board of Elections is back at work. Seated on the local board will be two Democrats appointed by the Democrat party and two Republicans appointed by the Republican party and one person (may be Unaffiliated) appointed by the Governor of North Carolina, according to Ludlum. Before the local board was disbanded in December there were four members of the board.
The nominations for the local board should be submitted by Monday, January 21, 2019, to the State Board of Elections. Currently all 100 counties in North Carolina are with out a local Board of Elections.
Break down of registered voters removed by party affiliation and state and county for the list maintenance.
Democrat – 236,847
Republican – 145,994
Democrat – 1,329
Republican – 261
Unaffiliated – 524