Election Results Challenged

Election Results Challenged
January 14
00:00 2015

NAACP incumbent president ousted in Saturday’s state-monitored contest

Members of the Winston-Salem branch of the NAACP elected a new leader Saturday in an election monitored by the state office, but an appeal of the results is already being readied.

Isaac “Ike” Howard was elected president, defeating current president S. Wayne Patterson. The other winners were Doris Herrell, 1st vice president; Harry James Jr., 3rd vice president; Stephen Hairston, assistant treasurer; and Jim Shaw and Linda Sutton, who won executive board seats.

But Patterson is calling the results null and void because he says two election rules were broken. First, Patterson said votes should not have been taken using a legal pad. Some form of electronic voting or printed ballots should have been used, he believes.

He also said campaign literature was passed out inside of the election venue – the NAACP Enrichment Center – in violation of established rules. Patterson and branch Executive Director Rev. Dr. Marcus Barr said that members of the branch’s executive committee filed an appeal Monday. They are also asking the National NAACP to intervene.

It was Patterson who called for the election to be delayed in November so that the state could over see it. He said then that oversight by the state office would quell any concerns about tampering or rigging.

Patterson and Barr say they saw Howard and another person passing out campaign literature in the building during the four-hour voting period.

“This information was being circulated while people were voting which is in direct violation of the NAACP constitution,” Patterson said.

Daphne Holmes-Johnson, the nomination committee chair for the local branch, said the literature, which Patterson and the others say urged voters to choose Howard and other candidates, never should have been allowed in the auditorium.

“(Literature) has to be 50 feet away from where your elections are taking place,” Holmes-Johnson said. “Meanwhile, people came in and voted off of the sheet. They never heard who these people were running against.”

Holmes-Johnson and Patterson said they were advised by voting members that they were told the literature was from the state NAACP office, a claim Howard said just isn’t true.

“No one was walking around saying that it was from the state. The sheet doesn’t have anything identifying the state on it,” he said. “The paper was just asking people to vote.”

Howard conceded that officials did ask for the fliers to be distributed outside, but he said that request was never formally made to him directly.

“In the workshop before the elections, there was nothing mentioned about campaigning,” said Howard.
Howard said the fact that the election was state-monitored means that it was above board. He believes all candidates had an equal opportunity to win.

“They started the nomination process from scratch. and there was a fair opportunity to run,” he said.
According to NAACP bylaws, complaints will be investigated and findings will be delivered within 30 days. If the compliant is found to be without merit, the installation of the new officers will be allowed. If it is deemed legitimate, a hearing on the matter will be held and the pre-election executive committee will remain in power until a revote is done or some other remedy recommended after the hearing is implemented.
Howard said he is ready to move on and begin his term as president.

“The organization has a lot of things that need to be done that the election made us reschedule. Our activity schedule is probably two or three months behind,” he said.

Patterson said that he plans to continue being an active member, regardless of what becomes of the complaint. He said he hold no hard feelings toward Howard.

“If he wanted the presidency that bad, he can have it. I would rather have the integrity of the branch intact,” said Patterson, who said he will give up the fight if officials decide the complaint is without merit.

State and national NAACP officials were contacted for this story. There was no response by press time.

About Author

Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors