Over a week ago, when the NC State Board of Elections rejected a complaint against the $1.7 billion school bond referendum that Guilford County voters approved in May, former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson – the man who filed the complaint – said that he expected the notice of the outcome to come to him the day after the decision by the state board.
However, as of Thursday, July 7, Branson still hadn’t received notice of the decision. The reason that timing is important is that, once Branson gets the notice, he has 10 days to convince a judge to issue a stay of the state board’s decision – halting the matter so it can be decided in court.
In other words, the longer it takes for Branson to get the letter, the more time he has to raise money for his court challenge and assemble legal forces to convince a judge to issue a stay.
Branson, at first, the day after his defeat from the state board, sounded doubtful about continuing his battle in court, however, after having over a week to consider the matter and assemble his team, he now seems very gung-ho about continuing his fight in court.
His claim is that both Guilford County government and Guilford County schools illegally used taxpayer money and taxpayer resources to promote the passage of the bonds in the May election.
The State Board of Elections decided against Branson so, presumably, the majority of that board doesn’t want the matter to go to the courts. Therefore, it would make sense to send notice to Branson immediately.
So where’s the notice?
Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said that there is a lot more to the process for the state board than just simply sending a letter saying “Here’s what our decision was.”
He said the decision is carefully written up and there is also, in the letter, a presentation of the facts found. That all takes time.
“They want something that will hold up in court,” Collicutt said of the state board’s letter.