Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Is Why People Get Frustrated With 'The System'

So, some of you have noticed that I haven't been posting recently, and I'll address that after the jump.

First, though -- I am trained to work within the bounds of 'The System'. Heck, I'm decent at navigating bureaucracy. But this is getting ridiculous! Are we in Wake County going to end up in the Supreme Court, or are we simply not going to have elections?

So, let's go through a timeline:

7/1/16 - The Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Circuit declares the recently redrawn voting districts for Wake County Commissioner and Wake County School Board unconstitutional, and notes that they "see no reason why the election should proceed under the unconstitutional plans." The election is now in limbo.

7/6/16 - Let the blame game begin! The Wake County Board of Elections says "[T]here's a process but not an answer yet." School Board Chairman Tom Benton asks if school board elections should be on the ballot with presidential and state elections because "it's hard to generate interest," and Sen. Chad Barefoot criticizes "unaccountable" federal courts.

7/10/16 - Chief District Court Judge James C. Dever III gives the State Board of Elections until July 18 to decide if they will come up with new maps, saying "the people in Wake County deserve" to elect members to the Board of Commissioners and school board this fall.

7/16/16 - The 4th Circuit stays its 7/1/16 ruling pending the Wake County Board of Elections request for an en banc rehearing.

7/18/16 - The blame game evolves into its 'solutions' phase! The Raleigh Wake Citizens Association takes the position that Judge Dever should not (and is not permitted to) do anything other than return the districts to their 2011 outlines. Legislative leaders take the position that with the elections looming, Judge Dever should allow the elections to proceed as-is, and allow districts to be redrawn next year. The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections maintains that they don't have the software or expertise to redraw districts (which... really? Then who would?)

     -Also, the Board of Elections tells Judge Dever they need to know by 8/10/16 which electoral lines are going to be used.

7/22/16 - School Board Chairman Tom Benton says we should simply suspend elections if we don't use the previously drawn maps.

7/26/16 - The 4th Circuit rejects the Wake County Board of Elections request for en banc rehearing.

Why am I upset about this?

When I first started this exercise, it was because I wished to be totally transparent about the process of running for office. Let me perfectly forthright:

This is a crap-show.

With 104 days left before the election, school board candidates don't know if there will be elections -- much less when those elections will be, under what district lines, and with which candidates vying to represent which constituencies.

I never expected that an attempt to show that 'The System' as transparent and fairly easy to navigate would demonstrate so clearly just how much of a Lab Accident our political system can be.

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