Buncombe County – Buncombe County – In November of 2020, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller’s home on Woodfield Rd suffered significant damage in a fire. However, according to Miller’s Statement of Organization for a Candidate Committee filed on July 19, 2021, for his run for sheriff in 2022, Miller listed that address on his filing form with the Buncombe County Board of Elections.
A casual drive by the address the sherriff listed revealed the home has been leveled and there is only an empty lot at the address.
The Tribune contacted the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) to clarify Miller’s address. The Tribune asked Aaron Saver, Public Information Officer with the BCSO, if he could confirm the sheriff’s current address for filing as a candidate?
“Candidate filing starts on December 6, is my understanding. The Board of Elections will have those documents,” replied Sarver.
Sarver was then sent the filing papers for the statement of organization for Miller’s campaign with the Woodfield address and asked to confirm that address as the Miller’s residence. Sarver then replied, “Anyone wishing to challenge the residency, voter registration, or campaign finance paperwork of a candidate for elected office will need to contact the Buncombe County Board of Elections (BOE).
“The Sheriff’s Office will not release the home address of any employee, that information is not part of the public personnel file that is available as a public record under the NC statutes.
“When you do your due diligence with the BOE, I think you will find that Sheriff Miller is a resident of Buncombe County and has been for more than 25 years.” The Tribune never stated that we were challenging the residency, only asking Sarver to verify an address already public information.
Buncombe County Board of Elections
The Tribune contacted the Buncombe County Board of Elections, which confirmed that the Woodfield address is what they had on file for the Statement of Organization. When asked who to report a wrongly filed address,
Victoria Pickens, with Buncombe Election Services said, “A candidate challenge can be filed between the date the candidate files his or her notice of candidacy and 10 business days after the close of the filing period for the notice of candidacy.”
She also sent a link to file a challenge. What about a wrong listed address on their Statement of Organization?
Pickens said, “The address on the Statement of Organization is for mailing purposes. If the committee does not receive a notice from our office of a report that is due and does not file that report on time, they would be subject to penalties issued by the State Board of Elections.”
Asked if notices to the committee don’t go to the committee’s P.O. box and if the stated mailing address for the candidate on the form was for proof of eligibility?
“Notices are mailed to both the treasurer and the candidate. We verify the candidate’s eligibility during candidate filing,” she said.
A search for Miller on the NC voter registration reveals that his current polling place is Averys Creek Community Center which would be consistent with the Woodfields Drive address.
What North Carolina law says
Tiffany A. Holden, Candidacy & Canvass Program Specialist at the North Carolina State Board of Elections, had a different answer than Pickens. “If a candidate moves from the address that is listed on the notice of candidacy form, he or she would need to update their registration to reflect the address change. If they were elected in a district than countywide, they would need to still reside in the district in order to be eligible to serve in the office. If they were elected countywide, they would still need to reside in the county in order to be still eligible to serve in the office. Additionally, they would need to update their campaign finance information to reflect the address change as well. This update should be done immediately.” She also included, “Pursuant to NC G.S.153A-25. Qualifications for appointive office. The board of commissioners may fix qualifications for any appointive office, including a requirement that a person serving in such an office reside within the county. The board may not waive qualifications fixed by law for an appointive office but may fix additional qualifications for that office. If a candidate moves from the county, this disqualified them from being eligible to serve in the capacity.”
Where does Miller live?
The Tribune has heard several rumors about where Miller is living both in and out of the county, but nothing the newspaper has been able to verify. The Tribune sent an email to Miller Buncombe County email address asking for him directly to confirm where he is living, but as of press time, the newspaper had not received a reply from MIller.
Editor’s Note: See Clint’s commentary page 13.