Director of Elections in Harnett County resigns because of GOTP Marriage Discrimination Amendment

An inspiring action from a dedicated public servant. Received via email.

On January 3, 2012 I resigned my position as Director of Elections for Harnett County, NC. I am extremely proud of the progress and accomplishments made to the voting procedures and polling places in Harnett County over the last eleven and a half years. I am especially proud that the Board of Election’s Office has always been operated in a fair, efficient and non-partisan manner during my tenure.

Unfortunately, recent actions of the North Carolina General Assembly made it impossible for me to continue as Director of Elections as speaking publicly about candidates or issues appearing on the ballot is prohibited. In September, the legislature passed a bill requiring a referendum be placed on the May, 2012 primary ballot defining marriage as a “union between a man and a woman”. I cannot and will not be a party to such actions.

If “marriage” were simply a religious institution, this would not be an issue. Different faiths are free to impose whatever moral restrictions they choose on their congregations and they in turn are free to accept or reject those restrictions. From a psychological and emotional perspective, marriage provides the individuals an opportunity to demonstrate their love for each other by committing themselves to this “special” relationship. In addition, marriage provides the participants in the relationship with a myriad of legal rights and special status, including inheritance and property rights as well as insurance and tax benefits. Marriage provides over 1000 legal rights and protections. The so-called “Defense of Marriage” Act seeks to ensure that anyone wishing to marry their partner of the same gender will be DENIED those legal rights. The broad language of the referendum could also impact private contracts between individuals, powers of attorney, and domestic partnerships, including heterosexual ones.

Slavery, discrimination and segregation represent a tremendous blight upon the great history of this country. Not so long ago, “marriage” between those of different races, particularly black and white, was prohibited by law and this ban was supported by the “Majority”. In 2011, Public Policy Polling conducted a poll of Republican voters in Mississippi and a number of them (46%) believe that not only in their opinion is interracial marriage wrong but that it should be ILLEGAL.

Only 40% indicated they believe it should be legal. There can be little doubt that if interracial marriage were put to a majority vote, some jurisdictions would outlaw those marriages as well. It is important to a free society that civil rights not be subject to a popular vote!

As a result, I am opening Lighthouse Strategies and Consulting, LLC, a political consulting business. I plan to work tirelessly over the coming months to educate North Carolina citizens on the impact of this amendment and to defeat the effort to write discrimination into the North Carolina Constitution. I will also be working to help elect progressive candidates to local, county, state and federal offices so that these types of actions by legislatures around the country will not be repeated.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” I simply could not continue in the position of Director of Elections and remain silent on this important issue.

Sherre Toler


A true profile in courage

If only one Republican in the NC Senate would have had a tenth of the courage of this North Carolina citizen, our state would not be wasting time on Amendment One.

Richard Stevens, Bill Rabon, and all of you other liar-Senators. Read this profile in courage over and over again. Then resign your seats in shame.



Thank You! You are a real hero.

Agree 1000%

It is important to a free society that civil rights not be subject to a popular vote!

Glad to see there are at least a few public servants who still have integrity, but it's damned shame we have to lose them like this.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Way to go Sherre, I have forwarded your statement to many friend

You are a "Shero".. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in.. it isn't easy in Harnett County, NC or Horry County, SC. I loved the Quote you shared from Martin Luther King.. All people deserve to be treated equally and with respect and dignity.
I wish you blessings, peace and prosperity on your journey!

Sherrie Toler has been an

Sherrie Toler has been an excellent elections director. She has always been above reproach, conducting elections in a fair and well organized manner. She will be missed greatly.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Whoa! Good for you!

All success in your new venture.

Stan Bozarth

a great election director and a real steel magnolia

We will greatly miss you as an election director as will your County and Board.

I am sure that your knowledge of elections, election law, your legal background,
your integrity and great passion for fairness and justice will serve you and
the public well in your new profession.

Will miss you as a much trusted, much respected and fondly admired County BoE Director.

Looking forward to seeing you take all of this awesomeness of yours to the field of political

I truly look forward to your voice in state and local issues.

Good luck!


Thank you for taking a stand. The world needs alot more heroes like you and hopefully with your example, we will get them.

There can be little doubt

There can be little doubt that if interracial marriage were put to a majority vote, some jurisdictions would outlaw those marriages as well. It is important to a free society that civil rights not be subject to a popular vote!


I read about Sherre Toler's

I read about Sherre Toler's actions in this morning's paper. She is one courageous and moral woman. All people in North Carolina count, and count equally. My congregation is struggling with whether or not to oppose the ammendment. Based on Sherre's actions, I intend to resign my membership in the congregation if the Board chooses not to go on public record as opposed.

Thank you.

Please do whatever you can to spread the word.