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House | June 7, 2016 | Chamber | House Elections

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] [SOUND] Current members at this time will bring the house elections committee to order. Wanna say good afternoon to all of our members and we wanna especially welcome our pages that are here today, when I call your name if you would stand up and um let us see See who you are. We have Tanner Bailey from Wilkes county sponsored by Speaker Moore. Alicia Thomas from Wake county sponsored by Representative Dollar. Jia Williams from Robinson county sponsored by representative Pearce. John Renegar from Lincoln county sponsored by By Representative Saine. And Sam Ellington from Bingham county sponsored by Representative Eiger. So welcome to all of you.I hope you're having a great week here at the General Assembly. And have a good time and learn a lot. Also wanna recognize our Committee Sergeants at Arms today. We have Marvin Lee, Ray Regee Seals, David Lattin, Joe Austin/g and Randy Raw. Thank all of you, thank you for your service very much. Okay ladies and gentlemen, we have two bills before us today. Do you all have an agenda in front of you? But we're gonna start with house bill 1129, house bill 1129 Representative Elmore is here to present your bill. >> Yes. >> Welcome to the elections committee, Representative Elmore. You're recognized to present the bill. >> Thank you [INAUDIBLE]. Thank you Mr Chairman. Through the House Bill 112 9 does, it simplifies the language dealing with the canvasing of votes at the county board of elections level, right now the way the statute reads it differentiates the primary versus the general, it gives the primary seven days and the general has ten days to do The canvasing what this does is it makes it ten days for any election. I was made aware of the problem with my local board of elections and they actually talked about it in the regional meetings there was around 30 local boards that had a request to extensions after the primary election with their canvasing so hopefully this Will help reduce that problem. I'm more than happy to take any questions. >> Members of the community is there any questions? Representative Hardister. >> Mr. Chair I'll be happy to make a motion. >> Okay Representative Dickson did you have okay, Representative Hardister you're recognizedfor a motion. >> Thank you Mr. Chair I move for a favorable report on House Bill 1129. >> Representative Hardister moves for a favorable report, house bill 1129 all in favor will signify by saying aye. >> Aye. >> All oppose no. The ayes have it, congratulations representative Elmore. Members our next bill will be house bill 1133 and if there's Discussion I just want to let the members know that we will have a vote today, we will vote by 1:45 so that we'll be in session, does any member here intend to call for a roll call vote? Okay, seeing none representative Whitmire You're recognized to present your bill. >>[BLANK_AUDIO]] Thank you Mr.chair, thank you members of the committee. The summary does a nice in sync job of summarizing the bill, I'll add a couple of comments and certainly stand by ready for questions This is a local bill, it would make the [INAUDIBLE] county board of education election a partisan process instead of its current non partisan process. This has been requested for a number years and basically the reason it has been requested is when it comes to being in Nation where we have Have the right to vote and I've defend it for nearly 30 years in my military capacity, not everybody votes, for those who do vote, thank goodness they do, but not everyone shows up knowing every detail of every candidate and as you go down the ballot and you get to the Races that people don't have, if they haven't done their homework, the basic idea of their political philosophy in terms of within the areas of physical discipline, social discipline etc, are they conservative or are they liberal, what party should they identify this bill Seeks to help people have that much more information when they need it. I've noticed my emails have suddenly gone [INAUDIBLE]. I will tell you that regardless of what emails you receive in there is strong support for this and certainly the ones that I noticed have set in And some negativity for those particular individual I'm not surprised

with that I ask for your support and Mr. Chair I'm glad to entertain questions as needed. >> Okay members of the committee, I will also just like for you to know that we have simultaneously committee going on judiciary today. We have some member there that would like to vote as well so if necessary We'll be at ease for a few minutes to give them an opportunity to get here, but we'll just see how the discussion's going. Representative Harrison, you're recognized. >> Thank you Mr. Chair and thank you Representative Whitmire for the presentation I guess I've read those emails too, and most of them seem to have come from teachers, and few Business leaders I've expressed this opinion in the past I don't think partnership belong on school boards I think it's an unfortunate trend in this legislature to go require that these local school boards become part of [UNKNOWN] Just gonna have to agree this group this is a good policy move Opposed to it and I'm going to be very, no, thank you. >> Representative Davis you're recognized. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman the question for the Bill sponsor. >> Pledge your way. >> Thank you, is everybody else in your delegation on board with this I understand you're the only Representative representing Transylvania County But is your Senator onboard with this? >> Representative Whitmire. >> Yes. My district has two full counties and a good bit of another county. As far as Transylvania county itself, I represent it totally from the standpoint of us being House members and the senator Who has all of Transylvania county, Senator Tom Apodaca, and he wholeheartedly supports the bill. I wouldn't have filed it had I've not had the support of both. >> Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] I just thought that was important for the record. >> Okay. >> Thank you sir. >> The chair has Representatives Speciale and Representative Richardson in the queue. Are there other members that wish to speak about this bill? That have questions. Representative Pisali, you're recognized. >> I agree with our colleague who said that there shouldn't be partnership on the school board but sadly with, and we should know when we go to vote who is who and that's the trend. That may be the only bit of information you know about these people on the board and the reality is that most of them go to Democrats go to the Democrat party to try and gain support to get elected and Republicans go Republic, I mean everybody knows all your activists know who's who so what all we're doing, all this is doing is trying to get the The [UNKNOWN] file, the average citizen to know who's who to whatever degree they could so I think it's a good bill and I fully support it. >> [BLANK_AUDIO] Representative Richardson. >> Thank you Mr. Chair I would just like Bill Sponsor, what is the position of school board members and And you're superintendent or maybe your mayor in this particular area? >> Representative Whitmire. >> Thank you for the question, the school board does not support this, I've served for six years and three and half years officially as the chair of that school board. I'm very familiar with it. The good people on the board it's not a bill to get them out, it's a bill to be a government of the people by the people for the people and those un elected boards do not necessarily determine how they are elected, you mentioned mayor in [INAUDIBLE] county with it being a rural county probably the more applicable Body that would come into mind of the commissioners and with that you have received one at least one email from our commissioner chairman who does identify as a Republican does not behave like a Republican in many ways and I could go into detail That I will simply put when it comes to the commissioners he is not supported by the majority of his colleagues in terms of criticizing that but as far as the people who have asked and its been many people over quite a few years there is definitely more support far more support to make it a partisan election than to leave it like it is, and again I served on that board of education for six years and I'm figure it's best if people be elected on their own merits and I was one maybe I was an idealist in doing so but when I was first elected to that board I insisted that the Republican party not put me in the literature and not accept money because it was an affiliated race, well I won, it was a foolish decision because everyone else did just like they do publicly most other places It's as partisan of a race issue you can get except for the voters when they show up if they haven't done their complete homework they are left to wonder what is this persons basic political views

and they don't see it on the ballot, so candidates they enjoy the support of parties, money That its your door knock and etc. We might as well make it what it really is and that's why the people have asked for it to be a partisan election. >> Representative Jackson you're recognized. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. I had a question for staff about an unaffiliated member of the public and how they would go about getting on the On the ballot and if unaffiliated representative on the school board beginning in 2018 resigned who would be eligible to take that persons place unaffiliated is not technically a party. >> [INAUDIBLE] [SOUND] The bill requires justice with any election that has a partisan component that individuals who wish to run as the representative as a party reduce the primary process, an individual who is not affiliated with the party could use the process that's already currently laid out in statutes to To get a number of signatures in order to be a writing candidate to be on or to be on the ballot for an individual who was not affiliated with the party who was elected to the board and then vacated their seat, the way the bill is structured if the person was elected on a partisan basis Should that vacancy could be appointed by anyone by the remainder of the board it would not have to be someone affiliated with the party. >> [INAUDIBLE] Jackson follow up? >> Representative Whitmire just are your school board members are they elected on a county wide basis or a district basis Mr. Chair it's a county wide four or five seats. >> Care to follow up? >> And staff could you tell me approximately how many signatures an unaffiliated voter would have to get in order to get on the ballot for school board in Transylvania? >> Representative Whitmire says he knows the answer if Representative Whitmire. >> Okay we have, give or take, a few 24,000 registered voters in Transylvania county and all the seats are county wide. So 4% is the threshold required by statute. That puts you just under a thousand signatures not 160 if my math's right. And the precedence on that, it wasn't too long ago that an unaffiliated Individual in the community did go through the process to acquire the necessary signatures to be on a general election pass of ballot. So it has been done fairly recently and it was done actually, fairly easily by the individual. >> Representative Dickson you're recognized. >> Thank you Mr. Chair. Since I've been up here I think this is about the sixth or seventh, maybe the eighth time that I've heard this type of legislation being proposed locally. I wish I could say that And I wish I could agree with those who say that when we're talking about our children in our schools, that it should be a non partisan issue. I wish I could say that. But ladies and gentlemen, those of us in this General Assembly, we deal With everybody in the State. We tell the school boards what they can and can't do. We tell other local governments and municipalities what they can and can't do. And we're certainly partisan. I think what's good for the goose is good for the gander and I And I like your bill and I'll support it. >> Representative Mitchell you're recognized. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman I apologize for being late, came up with- >> Hard to be in two places at one time. >> You're right about that. I've been getting a whole lot of emails from Harry up there saying that They are satisfied with the way things are being run right now and that they don't want to see any changes, in fact I think I got one this morning from the chairman of the board of county commission, can you lay any fears or anything that this people out there are saying that they don't Need this and they don't want this? >> Representative Whitmire . >> Representative Mitchell I appreciate the question basically I've answered that before you arrived but I will try to say it again, the emails some of which I've received too are Support for this and the request for this goes back over a number of years, the support far, far outweighs the opposition to it but certainly on something that involves change the individuals that

I'm saying and you all maybe have seen them or different ones are the ones who I would expect, just because of knowing them and how things are and their affiliations and their alignment is of no surprise you did mention the chairman of the commissions that chairman who has opposed a lot of things that run contrary to his affiliations I received several people last week that told me and that's his right to do so and um I've replied him, we have definitely discussed the issue but he, while the word he may have said plural, commissioners, he is not accompanied by a majority that opposes this bill. In fact there is strong support even Within that board. And again this is a bill to address the people's request, not elected board just to how they were elected from the boards themselves, that particular individual you mentioned is a minority when it comes to that. >> Follow up representative Mishaw. >> Well maybe I need to get partisan here How is the court made up and the reason I'm asking you is because happening not only from him but from teachers and people who claim they are in the school system and are satisfied with where they are, what is the make up of Transylvania county in the board of commissioners for instance I'm just trying for my own ratification >> Representative Witmayer/g >> The board that I chaired for four different year rotations served on for six years, all five seats are elected county wide. And presently the affiliations of those on that board, the chair is a republican Vice chair is unaffiliated, the remainder individuals all good individuals certainly all five of them are democrats, as far as the county it's about 24,000 registered voters and I can go into more details but did I answer the question? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> A Followup. >> [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] Okay Mr. Chair. >> Representative [UNKNOWN]. >> So I think you are curious of the 24000 total voters, how they align with unaffiliated democrat republican and libertarian. Libertarian affiliations I don't have a percentage but it's extremely small unaffiliated is it is 42% of the total number that's 9500. Republicans are behind that is 7500 and Democrats are at 7000. Those numbers are plus or minus a few but that's a pretty good ball-pack. >> Chairman Louis you are recognized. >> Mr. Chairman I would like to be recognized For a motion. >> Senator Louis you're recognized for a motion. >> Mr.chairman I move that house bill 1133 be given a favorable report. >> Further discussion, further debate, another question before the committee is a passage of house bill 1133 for a favorable report all in favor will signify by saying saying aye. >> Aye. >> All opposed no. >> No. >> The opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. The ayes do have it and this meeting is adjourned. Thank you