Election protest filed

Published 4:32 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

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AHOSKIE – One candidate seeking a seat on the Ahoskie Town Council has filed a protest against another candidate prior to the start of the early voting period.

Donald Kirkland alleges that David Robertson does not reside at the residence listed on his voter registration card. Both men have filed for the Ward B seat on the Ahoskie Town Council currently held by Charles Reynolds.

Reynolds has also filed to retain his seat for another four-year term. His residency is not in question.

“Mr. Kirkland is implying that Mr. Robertson does not reside at the address listed on Mr. Robertson’s voter registration card,” said Shelia Privott, Director of the Hertford County Board of Elections. “We use a voter registration card for residency information purposes when an individual files to seek election to a county government or municipal government seat.”

Privott added that Kirkland submitted evidence that alleges Robertson does not reside at 906 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive North. She said that is the address listed on Robertson’s voter registration card and that residence is within Ahoskie’s Ward B voting district.

“He (Kirkland) submitted enough evidence to warrant us looking into his protest,” Privott said. “Our [county] Elections Board is aware of the protest.”

Privott said she and the board would need the guidance of the Elections Office attorney in order to proceed with investigating Kirkland’s protest.

“We plan to consult with our attorney next week and move forward from that point,” she stated.

“If this does lead to a formal hearing, Mr. Robertson will have the opportunity to present evidence that he does live at the address listed on his voter registration card,” Privott added.

As part his protest, Kirkland cites North Carolina General Statute 163-57: Residence defined for registration and voting. Part three (3) of that Statute reads:

“A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district of this State, into which that person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making that county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district a permanent place of abode.”

One-Stop early voting for the 2023 municipal election begins Oct. 19 and runs through Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 7.

Ahoskie is the only local municipality to elect the majority of its Town Council members by districts (wards). The Ahoskie Town Council consists of two members from Ward A and two from Ward B (one from each district is elected every two years and they are required to reside within the Ward they represent). The Council’s fifth member is elected at large, as is the town’s Mayor.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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