House Bill 294 – Partisan Elections Act

I try to avoid posting about state or national issues in this space, unless the issue in question will affect us down here at the local level. House Bill 294 would do just that. The official title of the bill is “An Act To Require That Every Election In The State Be Held As A Partisan Election“.

I don’t care what party you might affiliate with, but it seems to me that to any reasonable person this bill would be terrible for folks like us living in small rural communities across this great state. I mean, it’s bad enough that judges and sheriffs races are tangled up in partisan politics, but throwing school boards and municipal boards into that swamp can only end badly for everyone.

As I’ve said before, down here close to home we have to learn to put our party affiliations and such aside because the pool of talent we have to draw from in places like Ramseur is so small. If this bill were passed into law, municipal boards and others affected by it would have vacancies filled not by the sitting members, but instead appointed by the Executive Committees of the party of the person who resigned or passed away. Positions could be handed out to party donors without regard for qualifications, while ignoring potentially better qualified candidates.

If that wasn’t bad enough, imagine the problems unaffiliated candidates would face, having to constantly gather petition signatures just to get onto the ballot, not to mention the logistical nightmare that would be presented if an unaffiliated board member’s seat were vacated early. Who’s going to decide what unaffiliated person gets appointed to finish that unexpired term?

Please click through this link and read this bill yourself, and pressure our delegation in Raleigh not to support this terrible idea. Partisan politics has created more division in this country than any other issue in my lifetime. This bill only threatens to make the problem even worse.

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