Election skepticism reaches Forsyth County: Republican protestors appeal school board vote



Officials with the Forsyth County Board of Elections meet to discuss updates on the case.

Ella-Brooke Morgan, Co-Editor-In-Chief

When former President Donald Trump initially refused to concede in the 2020 presidential election, it was impossible to predict the effect this would have on Republicans nationwide.

Allegations of voter fraud, spiraling into unconventional claims about international “meddling” and invalid, non-citizen ballots, took root in thousands of Americans. The result? 60% of 2022 midterm candidates were labeled “election deniers” by FiveThirtyEight.
On Nov. 8, North Carolinians flocked to the polls to vote for their Senator, House representative, governor, and school board candidates of choice. In Forsyth County, the WS/FCS Board of Education gained three new Democrat members: Deanna Kaplan, Sabrina Coone-Godfrey and Richard Watts. These at-large members were scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday, Dec. 6, but due to an election protest, the date of this ceremony remains uncertain.

On Nov. 21, members of Forsyth County’s Republican Party filed a formal “protest” following the poll workers’ difficulty “shutting down voting machines on election night,” according to the radio station WFDD. The filing notes that machines in each of the 108 precincts were programmed to require an “override code” for their shutdown, which was a “mistake.” This code also grants users access to administrative capabilities, which Kenneth Raymond, the Forsyth County GOP’s chair, stated was equivalent to a “security breach.” To ensure the code was not misused, the protestors requested a “full forensic examination,” or review, of the machines.

The first step in the protestors’ journey toward guaranteeing fair elections was not without obstacles; the Forsyth County Board of Elections voted 3-2 to dismiss the protestors’ case. Though, they’re not done yet–the protestors appealed again to send their case to the State Board of Elections, despite Forsyth County election officials confirming that there is no evidence to indicate corruption. This was unsuccessful; their appeal was denied.

With the Dec. 6 school board meeting postponed, district-wide decisions and discussions will be delayed while the situation progresses. The influence of Donald Trump and its effects have become clear on the local level as the protestors persist.