Forum Will Focus On New State Voting Laws - Brevard NC


The last in a series of four free community information programs on how new laws enacted by the N.C. General Assembly in the past two years will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the library’s Rogow Room.

Adam Sotak, state campaign organizer for Democracy North Carolina, will speak on “New NC Voting Laws: Changes and Challenges.”

Karen Brinson, director of the Transylvania County Board of Elections, will comment on the effects of the new laws in Transylvania County.

Jim Hardy will moderate the event, and audience questions are welcome.

Sotak is a native of West Virginia who moved to Salisbury, N.C., with his mother at the age of 12. After graduating from high school there, he went to Appalachian State University, where he earned a bachelor of social work degree in 1996. He then spent two years working as a counselor/teacher at a wilderness camp for at-risk youth in Surry County, N.C., before he earned his master’s degree in social work, with a concentration in management, planning and community practice from UNC-Chapel Hill, in 1999.

Sotak has been working with Democracy North Carolina, a nonprofit, nonpartisan voting rights organization based in Durham, since January 2000, when it was still known as Democracy South.

While working for Democracy North Carolina, Sotak has helped lead successful voting rights policy advocacy and grassroots organizing efforts at the state and local levels.

He has received numerous awards including the Humanitarian Award from the Charlotte-Black Political Caucus as well as the “Unsung Hero Award” from the NAACP for his work for voting rights.

Brinson is originally from Kenansville, N.C. She moved to the mountains to attend UNC-Asheville, from which she graduated with distinction in 1996, earning a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and political science and recognition by the university as Outstanding Student Leader of the Year.

Brinson has served as director of elections for Transylvania County since 2011.

Previously, she worked with the N.C. State Board of Elections as a district elections technician providing support to the 12 counties of Western North Carolina. In her current position. she has spearheaded the implementation of a new website, brought electronic check-in to all polling locations, and developed materials and procedures to enhance the efficiency and security of election-related activities.

She serves as vice president for District 1 of the N.C. Association of Directors of Elections, is a member of the state voting equipment certification committee and served as a panelist in 2011 for a webinar series conducted by the national Election Assistance Commission.

A 2013 graduate of VISION Transylvania, she now serves as secretary for its Board of Directors.

Based on the premise that “when laws change, so do our lives,” the Forum Project was organized in the fall of 2013 by a group of area citizens who are concerned that many people lack awareness and information about how legislation recently enacted by the General Assembly will impact their lives and the Transylvania community.

A number of community organizations are cooperating with the efforts of The Forum Project to provide Transylvania County residents with non-partisan information on important matters affecting their lives. Community partners include Brevard College, The American Association of University Women, Blue Ridge Community Health Services, Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Koinonia, Living Wage Coalition of Transylvania County, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – Transylvania County Branch, Pisgah Legal Services, Transylvania Association for Disabled Citizens, Transylvania Civitan Club, Transylvania County Democratic Women, Transylvania County Department of Social Services and United Way of Transylvania County.

For more information, call (828) 508-8251.

(This event is not sponsored or endorsed by the library or county government.)


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