Election Tampering in NC09; BOE in disarray; VoterID in the House; Farr Out!
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Alleged Election Tampering in NC's Congressional District 09 

The NCGOP has continued to call for the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to certify the congressional election results in NC09 (Mark Harris v Dan McCready) even though there is significant evidence of election tampering, as well as affidavits from voters saying their mail in ballots were tampered with. The GOP is prematurely claiming there aren't enough ballots in question to affect the outcome of the election. That's simply not true.

Harris' win was by a scant 905 votes, and as Old North State Politics breaks down the data, there are several thousand absentee ballots in question. Also in question is how far back this tampering goes, since the data from the 2018 primary election looks suspicious as well. 

Read more here on the alleged fraud carried out by paid campaign staff for the Harris campaign, namely a Mr. Dowless, a convicted felon no less, who was also at the center of baseless fraud allegations that HE (or attorneys using him) raised after McCrory lost to Gov. Cooper in 2016. Apparently he is a familiar player in Bladen Co political circles...Why would a Republican campaign hire him with that type of history?

There are LOTS of questions that need to be considered as this investigation moves ahead, most importantly, what happened with the previous complaints about Mr Dowless, how long has this been going on, and who knew about it? 

It's possible we could see an entirely new election as a result, which may or may not include a primary. Leave it to NC politics to find a way to continuously push the bar...

NC's State Board of Elections' Future in Question 

It’s a mighty fine thing that voters nixed the constitutional amendment shifting control of the Board of Elections to the legislature. Otherwise this investigation in NC09 may have been swept under the rug...

As it is, the current BOE of 9 members is a result of the 2016 GOP power grab, which has been found by the court to erode the Governor’s powers, and was due to revert to its old form of 5 members (3 appointed by the Gov) on Monday, Dec. 3rd. 

However, the court has agreed to keep the current 9 member BOE in place through Dec 12, although this debacle in NC09 isn’t likely to wrap up before then. The bi-partisan BOE voted unanimously to delay certification of the NC09 election while they gathered information, and then voted 7-2 to hold an evidentiary hearing by Dec. 21st. (Why 2 members voted against a hearing is beyond us...)

From Slate: “If the GOP hadn’t spent two years trying to wrest control of elections from Cooper, the state might have well-functioning electoral infrastructure. Instead, it is teetering on the precipice of bedlam.”

GOP leadership immediately demanded the resignation of Andy Penry, chair of the BOE, for lack of transparency and his history of partisan statements on social media. There is no indication Penry has done anything wrong pertaining to this election in question, and all four Republicans on the board voted with Penry and the others to not certify the results pending further review. However, knowing the GOP would likely continue to press the partisanship issue and draw into question the motivations of the board, he resigned as of Saturday, Dec. 1.  There is no word yet on his replacement.

If you'd like to contact the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement and ensure that they proceed with a full public investigation and/or ask for a new NC09 election, you can contact them here.

VoterID Bill Passes Senate, Moves to the House For Quick Review

Last week we saw S824 pass the Senate less than a week after being introduced, and today the House takes on the bill for the first time in a House Elections Committee meeting. 

As soon as the bill was introduced we did a rough analysis of it, and while it appears to be much more palatable than the 2013 version, there are still some concerns to be addressed. Read more here, and use these points to contact your House representative to request they be taken into consideration before a final vote (expected this week).

Senators McKissick, Ford and Daniel were able to get through a few amendments to the bill before sending it to the House. Those include: 
  • requiring IDs from the County BOEs to be distributed throughout the Early Voting period, instead of up to the end of the voter registration cut off date.
  • not requiring a voter to present ID if they had been a victim of a natural disaster within 100 days (instead of the original 60 days).
  • extending the expiration date of county issued IDs to 10 years instead of 8 years.
  • requiring County BOEs to issue a notice to everyone 90 days prior to their BOE issued ID expiring.
  • requiring a specified list of "reasonable impediments" for voters to have an exception to providing an ID, instead of vague, subjective language.
We continue to look at VoterID skeptically, since only ONE case of voter fraud which may have been prevented with an ID was exposed after a 2016 NC audit. Instead, over 1000 voters were turned away or unable to cast their vote at the time since they did not have an eligible ID. 

When state legislature majorities are determined by just one vote (see VA and AK this year) every vote does indeed count. A bill filled with restrictions, no funding and rushed through is almost certain to disenfranchise voters, regardless of how many amendments are added. 

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) Pulls the Plug on Thomas Farr 

We want to give a big thanks to Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) for being the only Republican to take a moral stand against Thomas Farr’s abhorrent nomination as a Federal Judge for NC, effectively killing it in its tracks!

With Scott vowing to vote against Farr, and assuming Sen. Jeff Flake keeps his word to withhold any votes until the Mueller investigation is protected, we can hope to send Farr far away from any federal bench in NC.

We have been campaigning against Farr's nomination for nearly a year now. Thank you also to everyone who spoke out, wrote, tweeted, called, shared and raised hell about this. Every bit of it matters!

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Stronger NC, Inc. All rights reserved.
Stronger North Carolina, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that educates North Carolina citizens about issues affecting the electorate. Stronger NC is not affiliated with any political party and does not endorse individual candidates. 

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