Greensboro, NC - Both the State Board of Elections and a candidate for state senate have responded after News 2 questioned the legality of a campaign event.
State senate candidate Trudy Wade is holding an event on Saturday at a gas station in Whitsett.
Wade plans to pay the gas tax for the first 100 customers at the gas station.
On Wednesday, News 2 asked the State Board of Elections if this is legal.
An official with the state board said they would investigate immediately. However, on Thursday, the board called it a "review", rather than an investigation.
Upon it's review, the board found Wade's campaign event to be lawful because Wade said the event is open to anyone, whether they're registered republicans, democrats or not registered at all.
The board's Executive Director Gary Bartlett did issue a word of caution in his advisory opinion.
"Please note that if you or your campaign verbalizes or acts in a manner that could be reasonably construed as requesting a person's vote in conjunction with the event, those facts could put you or your campaign in violation of the law," Bartlett wrote.
Wade also reassured News 2 she's not buying anyone's vote. She said paying the gas tax for voters is strictly to prove a point.
"There's been no mistake that it's a campaign function, but I'm trying to also gather information from citizens about how they feel about the gas tax in North Carolina which is double our neighboring states," said Wade.
News 2 also asked Wade why she's holding the event in her district, where she's campaigning for votes, if she's only looking for people to sound-off about gas prices.
"I'm in my whole district and I want to get input from everyone in that particular district. Certainly from the beginning it's been a campaign so certainly that was one area that I hadn't gone to yet, in the eastern part of the district, and I wanted to go to the eastern part of the district," Wade said.
Wade added that she's glad that the issue has generated publicity because it means the media is finally showing an interest in the need to lower and cap the gas tax.
According to state law, Wade will have to report any spending at the event by her campaign. She'll also have to tell the State Board of Elections if any of the facts of the event change.
You can read Bartlett's full response by clicking on the attached link.
WFMY News 2