The North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) voted four to one Sunday to recognize the No Labels Party as an official party in the state.
The vote was held at the State Board meeting Sunday in Concord as part of the Summer 2023 Elections Conference.
“It’s great news for democracy, and it’s great news for people in North Carolina, and it’s great news for people who may want another choice, especially with regards to the presidential ticket,” Pat McCrory, former North Carolina governor, and No Labels national co-chair said Monday on WBT Radio’s “Good Morning BT with Bo Thompson and Beth Troutman.”
Dennis Blair, No Labels Party North Carolina chairman, also tweeted, “It’s a great day for democracy in the Tar Heel State.”
Voters may now register with No Labels, in addition to the Democratic, Green, Libertarian, or Republican parties, or they can register as unaffiliated.
According to a press release, NCSBE found that No Labels received 14,837 valid signatures from registered voters, 932 over the required 13,865 signatures, on its petition to become a political party. The signatures were verified by the county boards of elections of the counties in which they were collected. No Labels also received at least 200 signatures from three different congressional districts, a requirement of “Political party” defined; creation of new party. N.C.G.S. § 163-96(a)(2).
But the signatures were verified at the beginning of July, leading McCrory and others to wonder why it was taking NCSBE so long to officially recognize the party. Yesterday’s approval from the board, however, didn’t happen so easily according to McCrory.
“The board kept throwing up more curveballs and questions, but our lawyer, Bob Orr, former Supreme Court Justice, did a great job and kept reminding the board that we followed the law,” McCrory told Thompson and Troutman. “We followed the instructions that you have on your website, and we got all the signatures verified. You have to approve us whether you like it or not because you know both Republicans and Democrats are represented on the board.”
A formal process will now be set up where the party will start recruiting delegates and volunteers.
McCrory said they don’t have any plans to go down the ballot and add names for congressional seats, etc., although they can. Their main goal has always been the run for president.
“If in fact Biden and Trump are the two candidates, and if in fact 65 to 70% of the people still don’t want that choice, and if we have an opportunity to win, we will do a presidential ticket for the president and vice president,” he said Monday, adding they plan on having a convention in Dallas in April, but, their main goal is to get on the ballot in all 50 states.
In addition to North Carolina, the party is currently on the ballot in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah.
McCrory said some states put up roadblocks to third-party candidates that don’t exist because of the duopoly of the Democrat and the Republican parties, including North Carolina, which he said has had a history of doing that.
In 2022, the Green Party collected all the signatures they needed to get recognized as an official party in North Carolina so their U.S. Senate candidate Matthew Hoh, as well as another candidate for the state legislature, could run on the Green Party ticket. Enough signatures were verified by the county boards of election to more than accomplish this task. But they were not recognized.
The party will officially make a decision after Super Tuesday whether they want to run a third-party presidential ticket.
McCrory said while names like Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Larry Hogan, former Republican governor of Maryland, and current national co-chair of No Labels, have been mentioned in the media, the party doesn’t have one particular name in mind just yet.
“We’re going to be looking at 100 people who want to be president of the United States,” he said. “They might be current elected officials, past elected officials, people from the military, people from business. Most likely, it’ll be a bipartisan group with an Independent, or a Republican, or a Democrat all on the ticket.”
Photo ID Exception form change
Another piece of news coming from the NCSBE meeting Sunday was that they voted unanimously to revise the Photo ID Exception Form (PDF) by removing the reason, “I did not know photo ID was required for voting,” from the form.
Voters can fill out the Photo ID Exception Form when they have a permitted exception to the photo ID requirements. Exceptions permitted by law include, among other things, that something prevents a voter from showing a photo ID when they vote, such as lack of transportation, disability or illness, work schedule, family responsibilities, lack of documents to obtain a photo ID, the photo ID was lost or stolen, or the photo ID has not yet been received. Voters unable to present a photo ID may also explain their reason in an “Other” option on the form.
Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina, starting with the municipal elections this fall.
If a voter casting a ballot at the voting site does not provide an acceptable ID, the voter may fill out a Photo ID Exception Form and vote a provisional ballot, or vote a provisional ballot and bring an acceptable ID to the county board of elections office by the day before the county canvass.