#ncga: What’s a little election LAW between friends?

Remember Dallas calling everybody seeking warm bodies to put their names on the May ballots?  Who needs actual party-building when you can play the whole Potemkin village,stalking-horse game?  *What could go wrong?*

Anyway, it appears the little cartoon character has struck AGAIN:

Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, could be the only state Senate candidate running unopposed after the county’s Board of Elections rejected the candidacy of Republican Nora Trotman.

Trotman says she’ll appeal the decision, which came in response to two complaints claiming she is ineligible to run as a Republican in Senate District 37. One complaint was that she hadn’t been registered as a Republican for at least 90 days prior to filing, while the other complaint took issue with the fact that her filing paperwork wasn’t delivered in person, by mail or by a courier service. Trotman’s paperwork was delivered by NC Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse.[…]

Regarding the whole 90-day thing, here is the relevant piece of election law:



This certificate, on the second page of the Notice of Candidacy, permits the board of elections to verify that the person seeking candidacy for a non-judicial office is registered to vote in that county, states the party with which the person is affiliated, and has not changed his affiliation from another party or from unaffiliated within 90 days prior to the filing deadline.[…]

I checked with the NC state  board of elections regarding Ms. Trotman.  She registered to votefor what appears to be the first time in North Carolina — on February 22, 2018.  (The filing period for the May primary started on February 12 and ended on February 28.)

According to her own LinkedIn profile, Ms. Trotman has been living and working in “the Charlotte, NC area” since June 2015.


[…] In the Mecklenburg Board of Elections meeting this week, board members noted that Trotman did not appear in person to defend her eligibility. Trotman promised to appeal to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement in a statement posted to her Twitter and Facebook pages.

“Despite political consultants and lawyers trying to undermine my candidacy as a conservative millennial woman, I refuse to give up,” she wrote. “I will fight back with the same tenacity that I’d use to fight for my constituents.”[….]

*Buuuuuut — you haven’t fought all that hard yet to defend your legitimacy as a candidate on the May primary ballot.* (Showing up is HALF the battle.)


[…] Woodhouse said he expects Trotman to prevail. He said her paperwork was delivered in line with long-accepted practices and that the NCGOP has records showing she has been affiliated with the party, including dues paid to a Young Republicans group.[…]

North Carolina is one of 28 states that requires voters to classify themselves when they register to vote.  Here’s the relevant piece of the statutes:

[…] Party Affiliation or Unaffiliated Status. – The application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall provide a place for the applicant to state a preference to be affiliated with one of the political parties in G.S. 163-96, or a preference to be an “unaffiliated” voter. Every person who applies to register shall state his preference. If the applicant fails to declare a preference for a party or for unaffiliated status, that person shall be listed as “unaffiliated”, except that if the person is already registered to vote in the county and that person’s registration already contains a party affiliation, the county board shall not change the registrant’s status to “unaffiliated” unless the registrant clearly indicates a desire in accordance with G.S. 163-82.17 for such a change. An unaffiliated registrant shall not be eligible to vote in any political party primary, except as provided in G.S. 163-119, but may vote in any other primary or general election. The application form shall so state. […]

Here’s the relevant piece of the NCGOP Plan of Organization, which governs the state party AND Dallas:



All citizens of North Carolina who are registered Republicans are Members of the Republican Party of North Carolina and shall have the right to participate in the official affairs of the Republican Party in accordance with these rules. All reference herein to Delegates, Alternates, Officers and Members shall, in all cases, mean persons identified and registered with the Republican Party in the Precinct of their residence. Any person running for Party Office within the North Carolina Republican Party, at any level, shall be a resident of the jurisdiction in which he seeks office.[…] 

The party’s own rules say you are NOT a Republican unless you are registered with the party. (Paying dues to a  “young Republican group” apparently doesn’t count.)

You do that by registering to vote.  According to the state board of elections, Ms. Trotman didn’t register to vote in North Carolina until February 22, 2018.   State law says you have to be a registered member of the party whose primary you are trying to file for NINETY DAYS prior to filing.  State records indicate she didn’t become a Republican or an eligible voter until SIX DAYS BEFORE THE END OF THE PRIMARY FILING PERIOD.

It appears the Mecklenburg board has a point.  Looks a little open-and-shut.

(*Thanks, Dallas.*)