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Macon County Board of Elections receives residency challenge in Highlands municipal race

Last week, the Board of Elections received a residency challenge for Tucker Chambers, candidate for the Highlands Town of Commissioners Race. This dispute has drawn attention from both locals and election officials, prompting the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) to take action, per general statute. The North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) responded by scheduling a meeting at 10 a.m. this morning to select a panel that will oversee the challenge.

Paul Cox, a member of the state board’s legal team, revealed that the challenge was prompted by concerns about Chambers’ eligibility as a candidate. What makes this case distinct is its multi-county aspect. Although primarily centered in Macon County, the election spans multiple jurisdictions, involving Jackson County as well as there are nine voters who live in Jackson County, but are eligible to vote in the Highlands election. The panel, once formed, is set to include members from both counties, with names such as Kathy Tinsley, Gary Dills, John Vanhook, Jeff Gillette, and the chairman of Jackson County being considered for the panel.

The residency complaint was filed by James Derek Taylor, representing Highlanders for Good Government. According to the complaint, Taylor alleges that Tucker does not live within the Highlands Town limits, making him ineligible to run for commissioner. Taylor’s complaint further claims that Tucker changed his residency 10 minutes before the deadline to file for the election, changing his residency from a residency he shared with his wife outside of town limits to his business address that falls within town limits. 

The actual challenge proceedings are set to take place in Macon County. The exact date and time for the challenge, however, are yet to be announced. It is expected that this information will be made available by Tuesday.

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