New Wilson County elections board has 5 members

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Wilson County has a new board of elections with members who have familiar faces.

Democrats Wanda Davis and George Leach and Republicans Robert Brown and Doug Inscoe were appointed to the Wilson County Board of Elections last week. On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Chip Futrell to serve as the elections board’s chairman.

“I am very proud of the bipartisan work we have accomplished in the last few years on the Wilson County Board of Elections,” Futrell said. “I look forward to working with this new five-member board to continue to serve the citizens of Wilson County and make our elections processes a model for the other 99 counties of the state.”

Futrell, a Democrat, has served on the county board of elections since June 2011. His roles on that board have included chairman, vice chairman and secretary.

Futrell said he will be working to schedule an initial meeting and swearing-in of the new members within the next few weeks.

Davis, Brown and Inscoe were also a part of the Wilson County Board of Elections prior to January’s court ruling requiring new board appointments. Leach is a new member.

Wilson County Elections Director Rená Morris said the Democratic and Republican parties submitted three names each to the newly appointed State Board of Elections. That board then appointed members to the county board. The governor appoints the chairperson of each county elections board.

Wilson and other counties across the state have technically been without elections boards since late December. In January, a three-judge panel dissolved and the N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement after ruling in October that the GOP-backed law that formed it was unconstitutional, according to The Associated Press. The judges ordered a return to governors appointing most members of the board as they have done for a century, the AP reported. Cooper has since appointed a new state elections board composed of five members, the same makeup of county boards.

Previous county board of elections consisted of four members.