The North Carolina General Assembly today (June 29, 2017) passed a veto-proof law that makes several counties, including Cleveland County, School Board Elections Partisan instead of Non-Partisan. That means school board candidates will have to be registered as either Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. Any voter registered as Unaffiliated cannot sign up for the School Board Elections in 2017. Any person registered as Unaffiliated will have to get up a petition with several thousand valid signatures to have their name put on the ballot in the November 7, 2017 General Election or even to run as a write-in.
Of the four incumbent school board members up for election (Danny Blanton, Bully Glover, Donnie Thurman, Jr. and Kathy Falls) only Kathy Falls is registered as Unaffiliated. This means Kathy Falls would NOT be allowed to sign up for the Partisan School Board race unless she changes her registration a certain period of time before the elections. Falls, as of today is still registered as Unaffiliated. However, it appears the School Board will have a Primary Election October 10, 2017. This is pushed way back, so perhaps if Falls would change her registration very soon, she may come in under the wire. Otherwise Kathy Falls would have to get up a petition with several thousands of signatures. If Falls does this, she can get her name on the ballot for the 2017 General Election on November 7.
Another consideration Kathy Falls would have is which party to change her registration to, if that is still an option. If Falls changes her registration, she may find herself in a Party Primary, no matter which Party she changes her registration to. This could present a problem as voters already registered in a Political Party would tend to vote for long time party members instead of a Party flip-flopper.
As the law was changed only today and is likely to be vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper and then the veto would likely be over-ridden by the General Assembly, there are many details to be worked out. We will give you more details as soon as we get them.
Now!!! As far as the old time party politics go, there are plenty of reasons to want to break up the good-ole-boy networks in the Democrat, Republican and Libertarian Parties. All three of these established political parties want to control the candidates that run under their banner. They don’t stick together much, but this exclusion of Unaffiliated registered voters from just signing up as the party candidates can do is one of those things that they agree on. Keeping Unaffiliated candidates off the ballot suits the political hacks from each major party, to the detriment of the voters who want to select the best candidate.
Therefore, I am in favor of anybody who may chose to get up a petition and get the several thousand signatures that are necessary to get their names placed on the ballot. Even Kathy Falls. Mind you, I have seen Kathy Falls in action and would never vote for her in an election. I do support Kathy Falls’ right to run for office and would sign her petition to have her name placed on the ballot. I would urge others to also sign her petition if she decides to run for office that way. I would much rather beat her in a fair and square election instead of getting rid of her on some phony technicality.