Statement from No Labels on Voter Suppression by the North Carolina State Board of Elections
Today, the North Carolina State Board of Elections launched a broadside against the democratic process and showed just how beholden they are to maintaining the status quo of the two parties by deliberately delaying North Carolinians’ right to more choices in their elections.
Under North Carolina law, 13,865 validated signatures are required for a new party to secure a spot on the ballot for the 2024 elections. To that end, ten months ago, No Labels submitted the petition signatures of thousands of North Carolina voters who support greater choice on the ballot in next year’s presidential election.
We met and exceeded every single requirement laid out by North Carolina law. The Board did not. State law requires county election officials to complete their review of our signatures within two weeks and for the Board to then review the counties’ work immediately. Yet it took months for the Board to do its job and validate the signatures, with numerous delays and roadblocks thrown up to keep our effort from succeeding.
Today, 14,797 of those signatures were publicly affirmed by the Board as being valid – exceeding the threshold by more than 930 signatures. But the Board has chosen to arbitrarily and capriciously move the goalposts back once again, announcing that they will delay certifying our ballot access while the Board Chair conducts an additional review process that has no precedent and no objective standard.
Make no mistake, this delay is not simply a case of bureaucracy gone awry – it’s partisan activists protecting entrenched party interests through any kind of underhanded way they can, using rope-a-dope tactics to drag out our effort and keep us off the ballot in 2024.
For No Labels, this is another challenge we must overcome. But for American democracy, it’s an abomination. And the ones who will suffer are the 55 percent of North Carolina voters who say they want more choice in the 2024 presidential election. In the words of our National Co-Chair, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., who for more than 60 years has fought for democracy as a leader of the Civil Rights movement: “Selective application of obscure laws often serves as a cover for something repressive.”
The people of North Carolina deserve better from their election officials, and the Board must act immediately to resume operating in accordance with the law, not with party dictates. This is not simply a matter of politics – it is a matter of principle. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.
Let us be clear: We will overcome these political obstacles, we will continue our work on behalf of the American people, and we will get on the ballot in all 50 states.
“As a proud native son of North Carolina and as a National Co-Chair of No Labels, I listened to and viewed the public meeting of the North Carolina State Board of Elections today with my decades-long civil rights career interests for voting rights and equal justice for all North Carolinians and for all Americans. I am profoundly concerned that for the third time in three months the North Carolina State Board of Elections has delayed voting to grant access to the ballot to No Labels. I truly hope that the Board of Elections in my home state will refrain from engaging in any form of voter suppression.” – Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. (D-NC), No Labels National Co-Chair
“Sadly, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has a recent history of improperly making it difficult for legitimate efforts to get on the ballot and deliver what North Carolina voters want: more choice. It’s time the Elections Board immediately fulfill their responsibility and follow the law instead of delaying the democratic process through their own arbitrary and non-transparent actions.” – Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC), No Labels National Co-Chair