Three current members, one new Republican selected for Rowan’s elections board

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, June 30, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Beginning July 20, familiar faces and at least one new person from the Rowan Republican Party will join the county’s Board of Elections because of the state board’s approval on Tuesday.

The State Board of Elections met Tuesday to formally approve boards of elections members in each county. State law requires each county’s Republicans and Democrats to recommend three members to their county’s board of elections. The state board then approves four total members to the county board of elections, including two from each party. The governor appoints a chairperson.

Democrats George W. Benson and Catrelia Hunter along with Republican Dave Collins were reappointed to the board Tuesday. Loutricia Cain, a Republican, will be a new face on the board. All will serve two-year terms.

The board’s duties include conducting local elections, operating voting sites, maintaining voter registration lists, appointing judges and assistants at voting sites and certifying election results. State law outlines restrictions on political speech while serving on the board, and those elected or campaigning for office are not eligible.

It’s not clear when Gov. Roy Cooper will make chair appointments. But the new and reappointed members will be sworn in during a July 20 meeting of the Rowan County Board of Elections at noon. Until then, the current board will continue serving.

Rowan County Democratic Party Chairman Geoffrey Hoy credited Benson with being “an absolute stickler” for following protocol, rules and regulations and being a forward-thinker when it comes to traffic and safety during early voting and curbside voting.

“He thinks ahead about things like that,” Hoy said.

Hunter, who currently serves as the board’s secretary, first joined the board in 2018. She is a retired professor and administrator from Livingstone College, where she spent 30 years. Hoy said her reappointment is the “continuation of a real historic appointment” as she was the first Black woman to serve on the board, and he credited her with “paying careful attention to voter integrity.”

Hoy said the party has submitted current chair John Hudson for reappointment. Hudson has served on the board for more than 20 years, and his decades-long career as an attorney is an asset to the board, Hoy said. He also commended Board of Elections Republican member Mary Blanton’s experience as a lawyer, though she did not seek reappointment.

Each party chair also submits a third choice for the board in the event another member is disqualified or ineligible to serve. The Republican Party selected Nancy Vick, whose husband, Don, is the immediate past party chair, while Democrats selected Roy Goodlett.

The Post was not able to reach Cain or Rowan County Republican Party Chair Rev. Brad Jenkins for comment.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.