Jun. 5—RALEIGH — A Robeson County resident has been picked to serve on the state Republican Party's newly formed Election Integrity Committee.
Dr. Phillip Stephens, former chairman of the Robeson County Republican Party, will be one of 16 members of the committee announced Friday.
The committee will focus on engaging with county boards of election and the State Board of Elections, recruiting poll observers and election integrity volunteers, making statutory and administrative rule recommendations, and refining the North Carolina Republican Party's Election Integrity operational plan, according to the state party. The committee will begin operations after the close of the NCGOP State Convention, which began Thursday and ends Sunday and is taking place in Greenville.
"I was contacted by the state NCGOP chair and asked to serve," Stephens said. "It seems the state party was seeking experts in the field across North Carolina for input."
He's not sure what qualifies a person as a political expert, but he has spent many years in the Republican Party and politics in general, and has even written a book about the topic, said Stephens, the sole Robeson County resident on the committee.
"A few years ago I won the state's Robert Rector award, which is a recognition for achievement in political activities, and I've had quite a bit of exposure in national media from time to time on the topic," he said.
Other committee members are Chairman Buck Newton, Phil Strach, Carl Mischka, Kiernan Shanahan, Nathan Miller, Peter O'Connell, Jerol Kivett, Deanne Brown, Terrell Stephens, Merry Guy, Melisa Taylor, Fred Galey, Wes Jones, Harold Eustache and Mark Edwards.
"Election integrity is an issue we must address head-on to move forward as a party and as a country," NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley said. "In 2020, the North Carolina Republican Party led the nation in implementing an effective statewide strategy to protect the vote. This committee will spend the next year-and-a-half building on our past successes to ensure the 2022 elections in North Carolina remain fair and transparent."