Under the Dome

NC state senator’s campaign fliers violated law, board says

The State Board of Elections took action against state Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, over fliers distributed by her campaign during the early voting period before Tuesday’s primaries, a board official said Thursday.

After an inquiry, the board identified legal issues with the fliers and required Bryant to sign a “Statement of Understanding” March 8, acknowledging that she understood the relevant laws about election materials.

The board also required Bryant to take out an ad in The Wilson Times. The ad, headlined “Paid for by the Committee to Elect Angela Bryant,” said fliers were distributed by the committee “in error” and said the issue had been corrected.

The fliers included the words “Keep Senator Angela Bryant” and information about her. They also showed an image of a ballot with ovals colored in for certain candidates, including Bryant.

Sheryll Harris, a compliance specialist with the Board of Elections, said they didn’t include the “Paid for by” language required by law. State law also requires any ad that resembles a ballot to include a “prominent statement that the document was not produced by a board of elections and is not an official ballot.” Bryant’s flier did not.

Bryant, who is in her second Senate term after three terms in the N.C. House, easily won her primary in Senate District 4 over James Mills. The district includes Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren and Wilson counties.

In an email, Bryant acknowledged that fliers were distributed by her committee without the required information. “As soon as possible, that error was corrected with stickers, and new fliers were printed,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jannet Barnes, a woman claiming to be president of the African-American Caucus of the N.C. Democratic Party, filed a complaint this week with the board against Bryant, referencing the same or similar fliers. The party recognizes Linda Wilkins-Daniels, not Barnes, as caucus president.

Barnes didn’t return a phone call Wednesday.