NC elections board appoints Karen Brinson Bell as new director

Updated: May. 13, 2019 at 4:30 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina State Board of Elections has named Karen Brinson Bell as its next director, in a telephone hearing held Monday morning.

Bell replaces Kim Strach as the NCSBE director. Strach will stay in the role through the end of May and Bell will start on June 1, 2019.

Board members voted along party lines to appoint Bell, with the three Democrats voting in favor of her appointment and the two Republicans voting against.

Strach has worked at the state’s elections agency since 2000, the last six years as director.

Bell spent five years working for the NCSBE as a district elections technician, according to her LinkedIn profile, from 2006 to 2011. Following that, her profile says, she spent four years as the director of the Transylvania County Board of Elections.

More recently, Bell has focused on advocating for ranked choice voting as an election administration consultant with a nonprofit corporation called the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center since October 2016.

Related: NC state elections board set to hire new director

Corporation documents filed last year with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office shows that organization is led by Gary Bartlett, who led North Carolina’s elections agency for two decades before being fired by a Republican-controlled board of elections appointed when Pat McCrory became governor.

Bell did not return a voicemail or respond to multiple text messages from a WBTV reporter since Friday.

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