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article imageNC State Board of Elections declares King eligible to run

By Kelly Fetty     Sep 4, 2013 in Politics
Raleigh - Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King has won the right to run for city council in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Yesterday's unanimous decision by the North Carolina State Board of Elections overturns a previous ruling by the Pasquotank Board of Elections, the Raleigh News and Observer reports.
King's candidacy had been challenged by Pasquotank GOP Party Chair Richard "Pete" Gilbert on the grounds that King, a senior at Elizabeth City State University, lived in a campus dormitory.
Gilbert had argued that a dormitory can't be considered a permanent residence.
Clare Barnett, a staff attorney for the Southern Coalition for Justice, represented King at the hearing. She pointed to two state Supreme Court Decisions—Lloyd v. Babb in 1979 and Hall v. Wake County in 1972—which found that a college dormitory can be listed as a place of residence for voting purposes.
North Carolina State law requires municipal candidates to be registered to vote in the county where they are running.
"This is a case about whether college students across the state can be denied the right to vote," Barnett told the state board, according to a Winston-Salem Journal report.
State Board of Elections Chairman Josh Howard compared King's situation to members of the military, who list military bases as their residence. Their right to vote should not be threatened, he said.
"I won't tolerate that," he said.
Recent rulings by newly-appointed, Republican-controlled county election boards have caught the attention of both state and national media. King's case was featured on the Rachel Maddow show on August 22.
Demonstrators were stationed both outside the states board's offices and inside, where many watched the debate from an overflow room.
When the decision was announced, they burst into applause.
In a press conference after the vote King said that justice had prevailed, the Daily Tar Heel reports. "This is a great day for students, not only at Elizabeth City State University, but for students across North Carolina," he said.
More about Montravias King, Pasquotank County Board of Elections, North Carolina State Board of Elections
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