This story from Swain County via the Smoky Mountain News raises some real procedural questions about when the votes cast during early voting should be counted.
From the article:
The results from early voting can’t be announced until after the polls close. But it is technically OK for those on the board of elections to call a few friends, party officials or even select candidates and share the results that afternoon.
“I would prefer they not talk about it outside the board office, but that is not publicizing or publishing the results,” said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the N.C. Board of Elections in Raleigh.
Guess it depends on your definition of "announce, publicize, or publish."
It seems to me that the votes should not be counted until the polls close, period.
I would "prefer"
if they were legally bound to not talk about it at all. The votes should be sealed when they leave the polling place.
This is troubling....
Thanks for posting it, usna77. I had not seen this. I'm going to bring this up with the rest of Democracy NC and see if anyone is up for a little electoral law reform. Granted, you can't stop human beings from gossiping -- but when it comes to the sanctity of the ballot and voting results, it should not be exposed to the possibility of gossip, period. They need to not count early votes until other precincts results on E-Day come in, IMO.
Progress North Carolina Action
Lead, follow or get out of the way....
Publish or publicize
I'm no attorney, but it seems to me that talking about the results outside the office is in fact "publicizing or publishing" the results. And it seems to me the kind of legal opinion offered by the Deputy Director of the N.C. Board of Elections should be issued instead from an official in the Attorney General's office.
That said, there is absolutely no reason for those votes to be counted before the polls close on election day, period.
The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR