by Lynn Bonner, NC Newsline
Alan Hirsch, a former deputy attorney general and policy advisor to former Gov. Mike Easley, is the new chairman of the State Board of Elections.
“I know that we will all work together for the benefit of our state and the integrity of the elections process,” Hirsch said Wednesday after the board elected him chairman.
Hirsch takes over for Damon Circosta, who has left the board.
Hirsch is one of three new members Gov. Roy Cooper appointed to the board.
Nash County attorney Kevin Lewis of Rocky Mount, a Republican, and Siobhan Millen, a Democrat and long-time local precinct worker from Wake, also joined the board Wednesday.
The three new members were sworn in with two holdovers, Jeff Carmon III, a Democrat and Raleigh lawyer, and Boone lawyer Stacy “Four” Eggers, a Republican.
Carmon was elected vice chairman Wednesday.
Leaving the board with Circosta were Democrat Stella Anderson, a management professor from Watauga County, and Tommy Tucker, a Republican and former state senator from Union County.
The board has three Democrats and two Republicans. Under state law, the governor chooses from political party nominees.
The board unanimously reappointed Karen Brinson Bell to another two-year term as executive director.
The new board takes over at a fraught time for elections in North Carolina and nationwide. Voting procedures under constant scrutiny and Republican challenges of election results have become commonplace. The state board is preparing to enforce photo voter identification laws starting with this year’s municipal elections.
At the old board’s final meeting in March, it voted to remove two members of the Surry County Board of Elections who would not certify local election results last November, even though they conceded there were no problems. They based their refusal on state board decisions and federal court orders they didn’t like.
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