In sports, we give a lot of credit when the opposing team draws up a play that “dekes”, or fools, everyone from the players and coaches to the fans in the stands.
The difference in politics is when there is clear corruption in the process. This week’s settlement agreement with the North Carolina State Board of Elections clearly failed to include all members of the NCSBOE in its unconstitutional end-run around the NCGA.
The NCSBOE settled, and the courts gave Director Bell what she appealed to the NCGA for earlier this year and the NCGA rebuffed her. This is the fascinating part. The NCSBOE is controlled by the Democrats. An outside liberal group gets representation by the nationally-renowned liberal elections lawyer Marc Elias.
His work does not come cheap and I really wonder who paid his bill.
The strategy: Get a liberal group to sue the liberal NCSBOE over the Rules and then get the NCSBOE and the Plaintiff to reach an out-of-court settlement negating the necessity for a new law from the NCGA.
Congressman Dan Bishop, while serving in the North Carolina Senate, was the go-to member on election law issues. He issued a statement last night, “A year after Democrats’ national lawyer Marc Elias nullified a Republican congressional election victory with a withering attack on alleged absentee ballot harvesting, he has reversed position to attack the laws against ballot harvesting. These laws require an absentee voter to secure an attesting witness for the ballot envelope, put postage on the envelope, deliver the envelope personally to the county board of elections or a postal service mailbox, and mail the envelope in time to be postmarked no later than Election Day and delivered within three days. In a lawsuit filed in August, Elias alleged that these requirements are so onerous that they deprive his Democrat plaintiffs of due process and a free election”.
There is fly in this ointment though. It appears that the lawyers for the BOE and the NCAG may not have been following the governance rules and disclosing all to the Board members with the NCSBOE.
The GOP members resigned last night in protest. There is more to this story yet to be told. “I even understand that (AG Josh) Stein personally browbeat the non-lawyer Republican members of the Elections Board, in a closed session, to vote for the surrender. Now, if the Democrat judge approves the Democrat settlement, harvested ballots can be deposited in unmonitored drop boxes, the witness requirement can be ignored, and Democrats will have nine days beyond Election Day to ‘find’ enough votes to reverse their losses,” Bishop said.
With this level of corruption in Raleigh, it makes me wonder if I will see former Speaker Jim Black or former Governor Mike Easley around the next corner, both of whom are convicted felons for their bad acts as Democratic leaders in North Carolina.
What did the Democrats get? Everything they wanted removed from recent legislation improving ballot security. These new rules were made into law after the 9th District election a few years ago. Here is what they got. Here is what North Carolina citizens lost:
“The settlement changes the game after it has begun, said Andy Jackson, election policy analyst at Civitas Institute, a conservative public policy organization.
Here is what the settlement would do:
- Extend the deadline for local election boards to receive mailed absentee ballots.
- Allow an absentee ballot to be counted if it’s either a) received by the county board by 5 p.m. on election day, Nov. 3; or b) the ballot is postmarked on or before election day and received by nine days after the election.
- Direct the state election board to create a process to resolve errors on absentee ballots that could be fixed with an affidavit from the voter. Examples include a mailed absentee ballot lacking a voter signature or a witness signature. The affidavit must be returned by no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 12, the day before counties canvass.
- Allow people who return ballots in person to verbally give information to election workers instead of writing in a log.
- Create a process for establishing a separate absentee ballot drop-off station at each one-stop early voting location and at the county board offices.”
Civitas’s Jackson continues “this is opening the door for election fraud. Getting rid of the witness requirement was on N.C. Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell’s wish list”.
Let me break this down for you: Today we have no legible voter signature; no witness signatures; no postmark on returned absentee ballots and “Dropboxes = Ballot Harvesting”.
Dan Barry is a member of the Hornet’s Nest Republican Men’s Club, Union County GOP, 9th District, and NCGOP Executive Committees. He publishes the Podcast and Blog – Right Course with Dan Barry