The North Carolina State Board of Elections has voted to remove two Republican members of the Surry County Board of Elections. At a hearing Tuesday at the Surry County Courthouse in Dobson, the board said the two members violated their duties by refusing to certify their local elections.
Freelance reporter Jordan Wilkie was at that hearing and sat down with WFDD's April Laissle to discuss what happened.
On the rarity of board member removal:
"We have seen nationally some instances of local boards of elections moving not to certify elections. This is the first instance that I or the State Board of Elections is really aware of in North Carolina. And it's very rare for county board of elections members to be removed for any reason. In recent memory, it hasn't really happened that county board of elections members have been voting against the certification of votes on elections. So this is a pretty new phenomenon. It adds some weight to the proceedings and the decision that occurred today."
On the state board's reasoning:
"In the board's motion to remove the members they officially identified impermissible conduct and violating their oath of office. In the discussion leading up to the motion the Republican member of the State Board of Elections who was present, Stacy Eggers said that he struggled with this issue for a considerable amount of time. And he ultimately came down with the decision that we are a nation of laws, and that board members need to be able to follow federal court guidance, State Board of Elections guidance and state law and cannot make those interpretations for themselves."