Fighting for representation at the state level

GREENSBORO, NC – More than seven million North Carolinians are registered to vote.

What you need to know

A lawsuit aims to allow unaffiliated voters to be on the State Board of Elections Currently, the largest group of voters registered as unaffiliated members of the State Board must belong to one of two parties with more registered voters.

Earlier this year, for the first time, more voters chose to be unaffiliated than to register as a Democrat or Republican.

One of those unaffiliated voters is Tyler Daye.

When he first registered, Daye was a member of one of the two main parties. Over time, however, he says he didn’t want to be labeled. He was not happy with the division he saw the two parties create.

“I used to live in the old 12th district that went from Greensboro to Charlotte, and when I heard about this district and how it was drawn, it really upset me, because I realized that it was kind of like, it was a pawn. political game,” Daye said.

Now in her 20s, Daye works for Common Cause North Carolina.

He is involved in voting rights and equity, and in the past year has begun monitoring local boards of elections.

Although the unaffiliated are the largest group of registered voters, they cannot serve on the North Carolina State Board of Elections, which oversees Election Day and the state’s election rules.

The state board is made up of five members who must belong to the two parties with the most registered voters: the Democrats and the Republicans.

“I think this is really just a matter of basic fairness,” Daye said.

Daye, other unaffiliated voters and Common Cause North Carolina filed a lawsuit hoping to change that.

In a statementCommon Cause said people shouldn’t have to align themselves with a party just so they can serve the public.

Daye says it’s about taking care of everyone in the state.

“It’s really just about having someone with another perspective, another voice at the table,” Daye said. “To me, it’s the same reason you want a diverse group of people on any board, because you want that representation.”

Although Daye says it might be a little scary to put her name to the lawsuit, she has always wanted to be a force for social change.

But there are many ways people registered to vote can do so, he says.

“You don’t have to put your name on a lawsuit, but, you know, get involved, vote, because this is our country and our future, so it’s important that we all be, we all participate because we all we are part of it.”

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