LEE COUNTY: Three experienced members appointed to board of elections

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Three Lee County residents were appointed to the local board of elections Tuesday, all of whom have served previously.

Current Lee County Board of Elections members Shannon Gurwitch and Susan Feindel were both selected to remain on the board for another two years, and former board member Bob Granger was also appointed for a two-year term. 

The three members will be sworn in at noon July 16, according to Lee County Elections Director Nancy Kimble, and a board chairman will be selected at that time. The local political parties each submit three candidates to their respective state party chairmans, who then select individuals to be considered by the North Carolina Board of Elections, Kimble said. The board's political makeup shifted with the new appointments, with Feindel as the sole Democrat on the board.

Local Democratic Party Chairman Ann McCracken thanked current board member Jon Silverman for his service on the board and said she hoped the new group would continue the board's good service for the community.

Gurwitch said she was pleased to be reappointed.

"I want to ensure the voting process is free from fraud," she said. "I want Lee County voters to have confidence that their ballot is being counted and not negated by any fraudulent votes that may take place."

Granger has worked with the local board for more than a decade and said he was honored to be selected by the state elections board. Granger resigned from the board in 2010 after a dispute about placing law enforcement officers at polling stations during the last midterm election.

A concern arose during the 2010 election, he said, regarding people violating the electioneering buffer zone.

"I had spoken to the people accused of doing this, and they had given me their word it would not be a problem," Granger said. "I thought it would be an unnecessary expense to have deputies at the early voting places and all of the polling places on election day."

He was outvoted by the other board members, which included Feindel, and Granger said he resigned as a matter of personal conviction.

"I've never had a problem with anyone on the board," he said. "[The resignation] was not a matter of personality, but of principle."

Feindel could not be reached for comment.