Democrats controlling the State Board of Elections are expected to name Karen Brinson Bell to be the agency’s next executive director, according to several media reports.
Bell is currently an elections consultant who formerly spent four years running elections in Transylvania County.
In what first seemed to be a bizarre move, Bell appears to have deleted her Twitter account before her name leaked to the public. However, the internet never forgets. Google has archived some of her old tweets showing her protesting President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
Karen Brinson Bell currently works for the State Board of Elections’ former director
For the past few years, Bell has worked for a company called the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center, which advocates for and sets up ranked choice voting systems across the country. In this system, instead of voters selecting their preferred candidate, voters select multiple candidates and put them in the order they prefer. States including Utah and Maine have moved in this direction.
This company is run by Gary Bartlett, who was North Carolina’s State Board of Elections director for 20 years. Bartlett had taken over the elections office under Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt and was known as a leftist partisan. A 2012 investigative series by N.C. Civitas showed how Bartlett had worked with liberal groups to undermine Republicans in the General Assembly.
When Republican Gov. Pat McCrory won office in 2012, he appointed new members to the State Board of Elections who removed Bartlett in favor of long-time investigator Kim Strach. Democrats are removing the widely respected Strach just a day before the 9th Congressional District special election.
Why is Bell’s Twitter deleted?
Accessed Monday morning, Bell’s Twitter account has been deleted. It’s unclear exactly when this happened. A cached version of her page shows that she had retweeted a March 21 tweet from her former employer.
But Google cached versions of her tweets give an indication of why she did so.
The State Board of Elections has firm rules on the social media activity of elected and appointed officials. In December, State Board of Elections chairman Andy Penry was forced to resign after numerous recent tweets surfaced of Penry criticizing President Donald Trump and other Republicans.