Winston-Salem NAACP election ruled void as national office steps in

Winston-Salem NAACP election ruled void as national office steps in
January 29
00:00 2015

The Winston-Salem branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will void its last election, which took place on Jan. 10, as the national office looks into a complaint filed by the organizations’ executive board.

The complaint states that campaign material was passed out inside of the 50-foot buffer zone and that there were no printed ballots.

Current President S. Wayne Patterson has told The Chronicle that he has been given orders to advise members to follow Article IX, Section 2 and paragraph C, which states “pending resolution of the dispute, the officers whose terms were to have expired with the new election, will continue to function,” as the national office investigates the process of the state-monitored election in early January.

An announcement was made at the general body meeting Tuesday, Jan. 27.

“Nothing has changed as far as officers,” Patterson said. “We did find out, for a fact, that the national office deemed the election null and void on the premises of there not being ballots.”

Patterson said that the believes it was not reasonable for them to vote on a blank piece of paper.

“The main issue is that you can’t have an election with a piece of paper like this is 1941. You got to have a ballot with names on it,” he said.

Numerous calls to the Rev. Gill Ford, NAACP national director of unit administration, went unanswered.

Patterson said that he spoke with his office and that he was told that they would contact the branch’s secretary about procedures.

“Another election will be administered,” said Patterson. “We don’t know if it will be done by the state or nationals.”
A date and time has not been set for the elections.

Patterson initially called for the election to be delayed in November so the state could oversee it, stating that the oversight would take care of any concerns of ballot tampering or rigging.

The Jan. 10 election led to Isaac “Ike” Howard being elected president. Other winners were Doris Herrell, first vice president; Harry James Jr., third vice president; Stephen Hairston, assistant treasurer; and Jim Shaw and Linda Sutton, who won executive board seats. The second vice president position is empty. Neither the secretary nor treasurer positions were challenged.

According to the bylaws of the agency, complaints submitted are investigated and delivered within 30 days. If the complaint 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.

Rev. Dr. Marcus Barr, executive director of the Winston-Salem NAACP branch, said that there were quite a few members that signed the complaint and that the branch is waiting on a response. He also said that he, along with many other members, are ready to move past the incident so they can continue working in the community.

“We have so many goals and programs in place that we would like to implement for the children and the elderly in the city,” he said. “This puts a serious strain on what we are trying to accomplish.”

The branch is currently preparing to participate in the NAACP Historic Thousands on Jones Street March in Raleigh. For more information visit

Barr said that he is disappointed that it has come to the point of involving someone from the organizations’ national office.

“This is about what’s right. We have worked hard over the last couple of years so we can move ahead, making programs work and function for the community,” he said. “We are for the people by the people.”

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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