GUILFORD COUNTY — The N.C. State Board of Elections is scheduled to take up an appeal of a Guilford County school bond package referendum protest by former commissioner Alan Branson at its meeting June 30, the board announced Wednesday.

Branson, the former Republican commissioner who lost his seat in the 2020 general election and is running to rejoin the Guilford County Board of Commissioners this year, contends that the Guilford County government overstepped its role by using taxpayer resources to advocate for the $1.7 billion school construction bond package. Voters gave the bond package 61% approval in the May 17 primary. Branson wants the results of the vote vacated.

Advocates for the bond package referendum, which is meant to transform Guilford County Schools facilities for decades to come, argue that county government played an educational, not advocacy, role in the campaign.

The state elections board agenda indicates that the first issue to be addressed is whether the board should consider supplemental materials filed with the appeal.

The Guilford County Board of Elections rejected Branson’s complaint on June 7.

The split, party-line vote was 3-2, with all Democrats finding there was no probable cause to hold a hearing.

The state elections board also has a Democratic majority.

According to election statutes, the options available to the state board are holding its own hearing on the complaint before rendering a decision, ruling on the case based on the record from the county board or remanding the issue to the county elections board.

The state elections board’s ruling may be appealed to Wake Superior Court within 10 days of the decision.

pjohnson@hpenews.com | 336-888-3528 | @HPEpaul

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