Letter to the Editor: We need a write-in candidate for commissioner

Published 6:49 am Monday, April 8, 2024

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To the editor:

Well, the recent primary is over and for the local offices it was interesting, especially for the three open commissioner seats. Alas, the hopes of many to unseat the current regime were not fulfilled. The reasons are many, but, as pointed out in several social media posts, the major culprit is the insidious demon of voter apathy.

Without going into detailed numbers here, post-election analysis shows that had more voters in the western half of the county taken part, there would have been a high probability that at least the number three vote getter would have been defeated (a target of many voter grievances).

How is this known? Again, looking at the precinct details, the middle of the pack (three to four of the nine candidates) was shown to be within a hundred votes of number three (and sometimes as little as 20 or 30) in the western precincts. The overall margin that affirmed number three was in the 1,500 range. It could have been done; change could have been made. Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 14 left 4,255 votes on the table. So, any perception of not being able to overtake the east side of the county is defeatist – the opportunity provided was to get to the polls while the other side of the county voted “as usual,” i.e., they wouldn’t have seen it coming.

In fact, based on registered voters, there is a potential advantage, west over east, of 2:1. That leaves only one thought as to why: years of misperception or apathy (and most likely a combination of both). Several social media posters lamented at “more of the same,” and, in no uncertain terms, espoused that the voters deserve what they get by means of their non-participation.

But the General Assembly has given us one more chance to effect a change and create a 3:2 commissioner balance contretemps the current, usual result. The balm is found at the N.C. Administrative Code (NC AC) § 163‑123, and it deals with write‑in candidates in partisan elections. Simply put, given the size of Davie County, a candidate with 100 registered voters support on a petition can be placed on the ballot (the cut off being 90 days before the election) – “write-in” must be an old term because this entails an actual, given, printed on the ballot choice. However, of those willing to run, the law also prohibits those who primaried from being a write-in candidate.

So, two things must happen: (1) find a person out there of like mind to those who primaried, wanting to shift the balance on the board of commissioners, who is willing to run; and (2) 100 persons must ante up on a petition to get said person on the ballot. And, if that all happens, will those who have seen the ill effect of voter apathy (more of the same) take advantage of one last opportunity?

Given the right person, I am betting that the “change faction” candidates of the primary would most likely throw their support to this effort since, for all intents and purposes, those individuals were also not enamored with the current configuration (and the given outcome now, less this option).

Or is all this just smoke in the wind because the “sheeple” are content to graze on whatever tares the current board sows (apologies to those who care)?

Bill Vaughan, Mocksville