Bob Wells, the husband of Anson County Republican Chairwoman Donna Wells, said he believes there was a concerted effort to suppress the Republican vote in the 2008 election. He claimed Republican voters at three polling places, Wadesboro 2, Ansonville and Burnsville, were told there was no primary.
He also alleged some unaffiliated voters were given a Democratic ballot without asking for one.
Board member James Paxton said he knew of the issue at Wadesboro 2 and that the voter later returned and voted. He said he had never heard complaints about the other precincts.
"Voters must request a ballot," director Tasha Coleman said. She added unaffiliated voters can choose an unaffiliated ballot, a Democratic ballot or a Republican one.
There was also a dispute over precinct assistants and the number of those officials from each party at every precinct.
Anson County Democratic Party chairwoman Vancine Sturdivant asked if there were precinct assistants from each party present at each precinct.
Coleman replied there were but the numbers were not always equal.
Donna Wells wrote a letter to Coleman over the issue, dated April 8. She said the precinct assistants must be selected from a list she submitted March 15. She also said the number of those officials from each party must be even.
"I have to receive an updated list from both parties," Coleman said. Bob Wells said he wanted all of these issues addressed in training for precinct officials.
In an April 7 phone call discussing these issues, Bob Wells claimed Coleman hung up on him. Coleman said he took the phone and yelled at her while she spoke to Donna Wells. Donna Wells denied he yelled at Coleman.
Donna Wells threatened to file a complaint against Coleman, believing Coleman was implying she lied about the events of the phone call.
"I think we can work this out," board member James Cohen Jr. said. "We can be cordial to each other."
David Black, the eighth precinct chairman for the Anson County Republicans, said the past mistakes at polling places were probably due to a lack of experience on the part of all of the Board of Elections. He said the important thing was to focus on what would be done at present.
Paxton said many of the precinct officials in 2008 were probably chosen before anyone currently with the Board of Elections assumed their positions.
Absentee and sample ballots are now available for the primaries.
Absentee ballots may be requested until April 27. The deadline to turn them in is May 3 at 5 p.m., May 7 at 5 p.m. for those overseas.