The North Carolina Board of Elections has agreed to rewrite a rule proposal and will remove restrictions on the number of poll observers after severe backlash from Republicans within the state.
An online press release from the North Carolina GOP Party said “current statute allows two precinct-specific observers to serve at one time in shifts of at least four hours, before being relieved by two different precinct-specific observers.”
“However, the rule proposed by the Board of Elections would have limited the number of precinct-specific observers to two for the entire day,” it continued.
NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley, along with the NCGOP Legal Counsel, had previously sent letters to the Board of Elections to protest the rule change. The Republican National Committee also sent a letter to the Board of Elections, saying the proposed rule would “eliminate transparency and accountability in our elections.”
“The State Board of Elections’ proposed rule would have placed a substantial burden on the participation of volunteer observers in the election process, which is key to public confidence in the results of an election,” Whatley said in a statement.
The NCGOP stated the “new version would allow for the precinct-specific observer list to include up to eight names with designated times for each observer to serve, instead of only two precinct-specific observers for the entire day.”
“We are pleased that the North Carolina Board of Elections took the Republican Party’s concerns seriously and has agreed to amend its proposed rule,” Whatley added. “It is critical for the Board of Elections to ensure transparent and certain elections.”