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One of North Carolina's most vocal critics of voter ID laws is finding itself in hot water, after a rash of complaints about alleged voting irregularities and illegal campaign activity within its own organization.
The Winston-Salem branch of the North Carolina NAACP received complaints from members after a failed election oversight attempt by the state NAACP during elections last month:
The complaint, signed by about 41 members, alleged that Ike Howard, who won the presidency in the election, and others distributed campaign literature in the building where the election was being held, a violation. The complaint also alleged that members voted on blank pieces of paper — instead of actual ballots — as required by the NAACP bylaws.
The article notes that, after the state NAACP failed to satisfy the critics, the national NAACP stepped in and voided the election. S. Wayne Patterson, who lost his re-election after a tally of all ballots, will remain the local group’s president while the investigation continues.
According to Patterson, the problems go back to last fall, where he says members erupted during a meeting regarding the nominating process:
At that meeting, the local branch sought other nominations. After the nomination process was closed, someone tried to nominate Howard, Patterson said. That caused an uproar, Patterson said, and led to the state NAACP monitoring the Jan. 10 election.
Patterson believed getting state NAACP officials involved in oversight of the January election would take care of any issues concerned members might’ve had about the election process, according to The Chronicle.
The North Carolina chapter is headed by Rev. William Barber, the founder of the state’s progressive “Moral Monday” movement, which gained popularity among local liberal activists after the 2012 GOP sweep of state elections.
One of Barber’s biggest complaints has been the state legislature's passage of a voter reform package that includes photo ID and other requirements. Proponents say these measures will help prevent future instances of attempted ballot box stuffing – some of the same kind of fraud that’s alleged to have happened at the Winston chapter.
There's been no comment as of yet from either the state or national offices.
Sister Toldjah is a contributing writer for IJReview. She is based in Charlotte, NC, and has a passion for political and culture war issues. She blogs at SisterToldjah.com and can be followed on Twitter at @sistertoldjah.