The majority of North Carolinians – 65 percent – are unaware that the state has “sunshine laws” that require certain records and government meetings be available to all residents, according to an Elon University poll.
The poll also found that people are more likely to trust their local officials than those elected to the state legislature or Congress.
Kenneth Fernandez, an assistant professor at Elon and director of the Elon Poll, said that has to do with familiarity and information.
“Residents are more likely to have contact with local officials, and there is far more media attention on the failings of state and federal governments,” Fernandez said in a statement.
State law allows a “special service charge” on any request that takes more than 30 minutes. The Associated Press recently reported that the McCrory administration has issued some invoices totaling hundreds of dollars for requests of digital copies of emails of the type that past administrations provided for free.
AP also reported the McCrory administration claims producing copies of emails requires specialized assistance from IT workers. It has charged $54.47 an hour for such requests, and may hire temp workers, at a cost of $21.73 an hour, to handle other public records requests.
The poll was conducted landlines and cell phones and surveyed 732 residents between Nov. 15-18. It has a margin of error of 3.62 percentage points.