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Democrats gain majority
 on county elections board

After a court fight that left local boards in limbo for months, Henderson County finally has a new Board of Elections, this time with a 3-2 Democratic majority.


The Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper had been in a protracted court battle over the makeup of the state and county boards of elections. Cooper ultimately prevailed, gaining partisan control of the boards.
After recommendations by the Republican and Democratic party executive committees, the state Board of Elections made two appointments from each party and Cooper appointed the chair, Democrat Robert R. Livingston.
Other board members are Democrats Mario A. Polon and Christian E. Stolz and Republicans Debbie Dante and Linda Rebuck. Before Cooper prevailed in court, the local board had been made up of two Democrats and two Republicans.
The Elections Board members attend state training in Hickory later this month and will set a meeting after that to begin planning this year’s election operations, Elections Director Beverly Cunningham said. One big task: replacing Cunningham herself. She has announced that she’s retiring this year. She said she expects to give the board a date certain for her departure by July 1. The elections board will recommend a candidate for director and the executive director of the state Board of Elections makes the appointment, Cunningham said. The board meets on Wednesday for swearing-in and to elect a secretary.