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Wheres the Action?

Board of Elections Monitoring

Why this Webinar? What is BOE Advocacy?

Build teams of advocates across the state

who are engaging in county BOE meetings
on a monthly basis.
To influence county level election
administration decisions
To build strong, collaborative relationships
with BOE staff and board members
Long Term Vision

Local elections boards are highly

responsive to community members
and proactively pursue policies and
procedures that make the voting
process fairer, more accessible,
efficient and secure
Webinar Learning Objectives

1. Participants know what to look and listen

for at BOE meetings
2. Participants understand the BOE advocacy
reporting process, follow up and action
3. Participants understand the 2017 local
BOE appointment process and
opportunities to influence it
Agenda Overview
County Boards of Elections: What they
are and what they do
What to listen and look for at meetings
Key election admin buzzwords
What happens after the meetings
BOE member appointment process
Specific asks and action steps
Questions and answers
Were in This Together!

We think of ourselves as teachers

and learners with you
We have experience and expertise
You have experience and expertise
Well be learning together as we go
What Are County Boards of Elections?

Local government agencies that run

the elections process in your county

County BOEs implement the rules

set by state law (the NCGA) and the
State Board of Elections
What do County BOEs do?
What do County BOEs do?
What do County BOEs do?
Process voter registration forms and provide forms to groups, or people, doing drives
Share information and answer questions from the public about voting
Determine polling places for Early Voting and Election Day
Hire and train poll workers
Print ballots
Process absentee ballot requests
Process ballots cast in-person and via mail-in absentee ballot
Interface with local PACs and candidates around campaign finance rules, procedures and reports
Oversee the candidate filing process
Attend conferences and trainings put on by the state board of elections
Handle and settle election-related disputes like protests and recounts and hear and investigate
voter challenges . And more
County BOEs have 3 Member Boards

The board members do not

operate the board of elections
day to day, but are the decision
makers about a range of election
administration issues.
County BOE Meetings

Board of Elections meetings are

open to the public and are where
the 3 member board makes
many important decisions that
impact elections in your county.
What to Look and Listen For at Meetings
Any decision that could impact
voters, especially specific groups
of voters

Any decision that could impact

the fairness or efficiency of the
elections process
This agenda shows
you the kinds of
important topics
that could be
discussed at any
monthly meeting.
What to Look and Listen For at Meetings
Directors Report: That report will have
information about whats on the directors
work plan or task list and who is contacting
the BOE and why. These reports typically
contain important information, so listen for
this, even if its not on the agenda.

Changes in staffing: This could be about

new hires, changes in personnel or changes
to part time staff that only work during
election time. These might be things
discussed in a closed session. You wont be
privy to the discussion if its closed, but you
should hear back about any final decisions
made in a closed session.
What to Look and Listen For at Meetings

Communication and
Meeting Dynamics
Open, accommodating
Contentious, defensive
Repeating themes or
Unity on topics
What to Look and Listen For at Meetings
Who else is in the room?
Stand-out people
Party officials
Advocacy groups
NAACP members
League of Women Voters
Tea Party members
Voter Integrity Project
Back to the Buzzwords
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms

What is a Voter Challenge? What to Look For:

Who brought the challenge(s)?
When a citizen challenges the
validity of a voters registration How many challenges are being
Goal: Remove voter from the rolls What are the reasons for the
Is there a clear process being
followed to investigate?
What are next steps?
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms

What is List Maintenance? What to Look For:

# of voters removed and why
Process of removing voters from
the registration rolls or updating # of voters changed from
or verifying the voter status active to inactive and why
Any discussion of list
Not always bad, but something to maintenance plans and next
watch steps
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms

What is Budget? What to Look For:

Concerns about budget
Amount of money in a fiscal year
that the BOE has to operate shortages
Plans to request funds from
Impacts voting equipment, poll county commission and for what
workers, training, early voting sites,
voter education, etc.

The county commission controls the

county board of elections budget.
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms

What are Precinct Changes? What to Look For:

What type changes are being
Could involve merging or splitting proposed?
precincts or moving a polling site What specific precincts will be
from one place to another impacted (names)? Who lives
Can often cause confusion and Is there a public hearing about
heated debate and sometimes the changes scheduled?
impact voters disproportionately Who favors or opposes the
or unfairly changes?
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms
Buzzwords: Key Election Admin Terms

What is Voting Equipment? What to Look For:

Type of equipment discussed
Tools the county uses to run
elections: voting machines, laptops, and why
printers, etc. Pros and cons of potential
Key words:
SEIMS (state voter database) Budget concerns or questions
DRE (touchscreen voting machine) Opposition or support from
M-100 (paper ballot machine) various people in the room
E-poll books (electronic voter rolls)
Whats Next: After the Meetings
Reporting Back
Reporting Form Hard Copy
Reporting Form Google (web)

Link to this form is:
How to Report Back
Complete a BOE reporting form after every meeting
Make sure to fill out the entire form
Democracy NC prefers to receive reports via the Google form
Helps us get reports asap and not have to decipher handwriting
Helps us collate reports efficiently across counties
Please type your report into the Google form, or
Give your hard copy report to an organizer
We prefer that you use the Google form because our
organizers have many, many other things going on!
What Not To Do: Bad Report

A bad report:
Doesnt include your name
Is incomplete or missing info
Is illegible, too hard to read
Has vague or confusing details
Gets to Dem NC late
What To Do: Good Report

A good report:
Is complete, includes contact info
Is easy to read
Has clear notes and details about
what happened and any next
Gets turned in asap after the
A Note about Meeting Minutes

Maybe I dont
need to take notes
because there will
be meeting
A Note about Meeting Minutes

Maybe I dont
need to take notes
because there will
be meeting
These are real minutes from a BOE
Meeting. Notice how sparse the
details are? Dont rely on minutes
for your report take your own,
detailed notes!

Very little detail

Whats Next: After the Meetings

Follow Up & Action

Use these questions to debrief
meetings with the BOE
watchdog team an/or your
local Dem NC organizer.

Tip: Review this before

meetings to get a sense of the
kinds of questions you can ask
about different topics during
the meeting!
Debrief with Your BOE Team

Whenever possible, have a

face to face conversation to
figure out any next steps or
action items related to the
BOE meetings.
Board of Elections Member Appointments
Board of Elections Member Appointments
All county boards of elections in NC have an appointed 3 member
board that makes key decisions about a range of election
administration issues

There was a change in the political party of the governor after the
2016 elections - (D) Roy Cooper beat (R) Pat McCrory - this changes
the balance of power on local boards from majority (R) to majority (D)

No matter the balance of power, YOU have the opportunity to

influence the appointment process!
Board of Elections Member Appointments

Well outline the appointment


Identify points of influence

Make specific asks of you and

give you a timeline
Board of Elections Appointment Process

How it Works: Local names

suggested to
Each local party chair submits 3 party chairs
names for consideration
Anyone can suggest names of
party affiliated people to local Party chairs
submit 3
party chairs names to
State Board of Elections appoints
3 (or 4) members to every county SBOE appoints 3
members from the
BOE 6 names provided
Appointments are 2 year terms
or until successor takes office
BOE Appointment Timeline

Party Chairs
Now - Get names to By June SBOE appoints
choose and
Party Chairs new BOE
May June 12 submit 3 27 members
BOE Member Qualifications
CBOE members may not be a close relative (including in-laws,
uncle/aunt, niece/nephew) of any candidate for an election
conducted by the CBOE

CBOE members may not serve as precinct or party official or be an

elected official (delegate to a party convention doesnt count)

CBOE members shall be persons of good moral character. May be

removed for incompetency, neglect or failure to perform duties,
fraud, or for any other satisfactory cause
Act to Influence CBOE Appointments
Brainstorm good prospects
with others in your community
Set a strategy, make a plan!
By April 15
Submit names to party chairs
By early May
Meet with / lobby party chairs
Other tactics that make sense
in your community
Democracy NC Staff Contacts
Val Applewhite, Southeast |
Darlene Azarmi, West |
Mel Hartsell, Charlotte-Western Piedmont |
Linda Sutton, Central Piedmont |
Marques Thompson, Northeast |

Durham staff:
Jenn Frye, Durham |
Isela Gutierrez, Durham |