North Carolina State Board of Elections Chair Resigns

RALEIGH — The chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Elections has resigned. The Governor has accepted Mr. Penry’s resignation.

Penry, a Democrat, has come under fire from state Republican leaders after his social media posts on Twitter about President Donald Trump suggested the board’s investigation was tilted. The feed is no longer available.

Wake County GOP Chairman Charles Hellwig filed a complaint this week citing a state law prohibiting board members from making public comments supporting or opposing candidates and referendums. Trump is a declared 2020 candidate.

The complaint included 17 pages of examples of tweets the Raleigh lawyer has sent since Gov. Roy Cooper appointed him to the board in March. In addition to negative comments about Trump, he tweeted comments about Trump supporters, Sen. Ted Cruz, the proposed constitutional amendment establishing an eight-member bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, and then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

State law requires anyone on the state board to not make any “written or oral statements intended for general distribution or dissemination” to the public that supports or opposes a candidate or nominee for office or a referendum or ballot proposal.

Nine members make up the state Board of Elections, which included four Democrats, four Republicans and one unaffiliated member.

Earlier this week, the board agreed not to certify the results of the 9th Congressional District race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready. Harris leads by 905 votes in unofficial results but there have been questions about absentee ballots.