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Look What WE Did! NC Lawmakers Expected to Roll Out Major Election Law Changes!

Just a reminder: Jim Womack is the CEO of the North Carolina Election Integrity Team - Cleta Mitchell, a former Trump attorney, is a nationally recognized election law attorney, author, scholar and advocate, who is the inspiration and founder of the Election Integrity Network (EIN) and Who's Counting. a coalition of conservative leaders, organizations, public officials and citizens dedicated to securing the legality of every American vote.

Together with Jim Womack, Asheville Tea Party, Voter Integrity Project, Liberty First Grassroots direct and organize NC counties for election integrity, training, action alerts, lobbying, and poll observer training, and more.

NCEIT will be tracking our proposed legislation in the NCGA. We will be issuing Action Alerts as the omnibus bill wends its way through the General Assembly. Sign up at Join Us at to make sure you don't miss an opportunity to have your voice heard.

The 2024 elections in North Carolina could be conducted under far stricter rules under a proposal being crafted behind closed doors by Republican lawmakers — with input from a lawyer best known for assisting in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Republican operatives and state lawmakers expect a massive package of laws — affecting everything from voter ID to early voting, mail-in ballots, voter registration rules and more — to be filed in the coming days.

“From talking to leaders in the House and Senate, it appears they’re going to bundle all these meritorious changes … and put them in an omnibus bill,” Jim Womack, a longtime GOP politician and party insider familiar with Republican leaders’ thinking on the issue, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “This is something my group has been pushing for.”

Womack’s group is the Election Integrity Network, whose state chapter he runs with Cleta Mitchell, a former lawyer for then-President Donald Trump. She and Womack have met with high-ranking Republican lawmakers in recent weeks, pushing their goals for changes to election laws ahead of the 2024 elections. They say their changes will add security to elections and give people more faith that future results aren’t rigged.

“The biggest issue across the nation is distrust in elections,” Womack said. “And it’s not just conservatives. It is more with conservatives, but it’s both sides.”

Mitchell was one of several lawyers heavily involved in Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election results — including the famous call she, Trump and others made to Georgia election officials when Trump pressured the officials to “find” enough votes to let him win the state instead of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, who actually won. A Georgia grand jury has been investigating the incident and whether to charge Trump criminally.

A big deal' Publicly, Mitchell and other Republicans say changing election laws isn't intended to target Democratic-leaning voters, but to help election security and combat fraud. Efforts to reach Mitchell for comment were unsuccessful on Wednesday. Voter fraud is extremely rare; a 2016 audit by North Carolina officials found just two cases of voter impersonation in that year’s elections, out of 4.8 million ballots cast. But it does happen; in 2018 North Carolina had to re-do a Congressional election because a campaign consultant for the Republican candidate was accused of submitting hundreds of fraudulent mail-in ballots. McCrae Dowless, the accused fixer, died last year while awaiting trial. Critics such as Democratic State Rep. Pricey Harrison say the changes Republicans are expected to roll out are mainly meant to disenfranchise Democratic voters. The last major overhaul of state elections law came in 2013, and was later struck down in court for targeting Black voters with what the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called “almost surgical precision.” Harrison, who has long served on the election committee in the state House, said she’s been told almost nothing about the expected proposal. She suspects that many of her Republican colleagues in the General Assembly are similarly in the dark. She speculated that the effort is being driven by Republican leaders in Washington — an attempt to give the GOP any edge it can get in upcoming elections, when North Carolina is once again expected to be a key swing state. “I think these decisions are being made at a much higher pay grade than even the committee chair,” she said. Rep. Destin Hall, a top House Republican, acknowledged that House and Senate GOP leaders have been going back and forth behind closed doors about what should or shouldn’t be in the elections bill. As to when it might become public, he said, it’s hard to say. Republicans are working on the state budget and a host of other initiatives — including sports betting, medical marijuana, an expansion of private school vouchers, the annual farm act and more. “We’re trying to move a lot of these big bills,” he said. “The elections bill would be a big deal.” It’s unclear how much influence Mitchell and others have had in helping craft language of the expected proposal. Hall said he has never met with her. But a top Republican in the other chamber, Sen. Ralph Hise, said she’s one of many people he’s talked to about the bill. Hise, who chairs the Senate’s elections committee, brushed aside questions about Mitchell’s involvement in the 2020 elections: “There are a lot of people who are concerned about the security and integrity of elections,” he said. Poll: Confidence in mail-in voting, election results marked by partisan divide In recent years, election skepticism has grown in part because of disproven election conspiracies and false claims made by Trump and top allies such as Mitchell. Allegations of rigged elections persist in North Carolina even though Trump carried the state, Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis won reelection, and the GOP maintained control of the state legislature and won every statewide judicial race. Womack said he thinks there’s more voter fraud than is officially reported and doesn’t trust the multiple audits by elections officials nationwide that have found little to no fraud, saying election officials have little incentive to make themselves look bad by reporting fraud. “Even if there’s not any evidence of it, there’s certainly a lot of smoke coming off the 2020 elections,” he said.

What could be in the bill Hise said that while he has been working with Womack and Mitchell on the bill, he and other GOP leaders have met with plenty of others as well: “I’ve talked to them,” Hise said. “I’ve heard from all sorts of groups across the state.” Hise said the bill could touch on early voting — which was also a big focus of the 2013 law that was overturned for racial discrimination, since GOP lawmakers used past election data from the state to cut the days of early voting that Black people were most likely to use. “Shortening the early voting period is something I would very much support it,” Hise said. “But I think it’s been clear from the 4th Circuit, at this point, that … there’s really not a lot of options for us to go back at that point.”

There are other ways GOP leaders could target early voting, though, such as cracking down on same-day registration — the law that allows people to register to vote and then cast a ballot on the same day during early voting. Hise and Womack said they’re concerned that some of the people who use that aren’t who they say they are.

Womack supports still allowing same-day registration, but with the change that those who use it would have to cast provisional ballots. Those wouldn’t be counted on election night but could later help decide any particularly close races, since officials take time after the election to closely review provisional ballots and make sure they're legitimate.

He also wants big changes for partisan poll observers, and for North Carolina to scuttle plans to join ERIC, a national group whose supporters say is focused on helping fight voter fraud and making elections run more smoothly. Many conservatives think the group is more focused on helping Democrats win elections. ERIC couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday night. “Their main focus is to add people to the voter rolls,” Womack said, adding: “There was an argument that said it’s a good thing for conservatives if more people vote. I fundamentally disagree with that."


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