What is wrong with our Election Laws in North Carolina?
*Voter Lists are corrupt- approximately 14% (one million registrants) on the official NC voter list have been identified as duplicates or ineligible registrants. Many have moved, are duplicated, have died, are non-citizens, or are convicted felons. Citizens are not allowed to provide input to local boards of elections or to challenge bad entries on the voter lists. There is no statutory requirement to remove duplicated voters. Corrupt voter lists are a key factor leading to election fraud.
*Mail-in voting is abused and exploited- non-governmental organizations are printing hundreds of thousands of ballot request forms with bar codes, then targeting and recruiting left-leaning voters to skew election results. Ballot harvesting is rampant in NC, particularly in the metro areas. There are few controls for mail-in voting. We are denied inspection of postal facilities; mail-in ballots have no chain of custody; and observers are denied inspection of ballot envelopes during board of election meetings. The challenge period for mail-in ballots lasts just a few hours making it almost impossible to gather evidence and submit the challenge for known illegal votes.
*Poll observers are being denied the freedom to observe, inspect, and report consistent with the provisions in NCGS 163-45. Local boards of elections prohibit mobility in the polling place and deny observers from collecting and reporting malfeasances in many of our counties.
*Same Day Registration & Voting is abused. Many thousands of voters show up to register and vote the same day during early voting. They are permitted to vote a regular ballot- which is immediately scanned and counted -without address verification. Address verification fails for many of these newly registered voters, but their votes were already counted and they remain on the voter list.
*There is no parity in partisan representation during Early Voting as there is by law on election day. Early Voting sites have site administrators and staff chosen exclusively by local boards of elections. Many of these sites have only democrats or left-leaning unaffiliated officials. All early voting sites ought to meet the same partisan representation that is required for the precincts on election day.
*There is no capability to effectively audit election results. Fewer than half of NC voters believe our elections are fair and accurately tallied. They lack confidence in the election because there is no legitimate audit of election records, because machines are not accessible for inspection, and because observers are denied access to the machine cast vote records (CVRs), ballot envelopes, and other election artifacts needed to validate reported election results.
What Election Law improvements are in Senate Bill 747 (Edition 3) as passed by the Senate?
*Prohibition of private, non-governmental funding (including in-kind donations) of election activities (Sections 1-3)
*Retention of election records for 22 months to comply with the NVRA (Sections 1, 2, and 7);
*Polls will close at 7:30PM on election day and all absentee/mail-in ballots must be received by that time (Section 11)
*Signature verification for mail-in ballot envelopes (Section 21)
*Process for removing non-citizens from voter lists (Section 30).
What are the Deficiencies in Senate Bill 747?
*No protections for Poll Observers to perform their duties as prescribed by law (NCGS 163-45)
*No allowance for citizens to provide affidavits or other evidence to local Boards of Elections to correct known deficiencies on county voter lists
*No partisan parity at Early Voting sites as required at precincts on election day
*Does not require that all voters using same day registration and voting be issued a provisional ballot to allow time for address verification
*Does not provide a means for observers or citizens to inspect mail-in ballot envelopes or to reasonably challenge voters who do not live in their counties (or the state)
*Allows non-governmental organizations to barcode private ballot request forms then use the Postal Service to (illegally) identify and track those who are voting by mail
*The bill fails to specify that machine Cast Vote Records (CVRs) are publicly releasable immediately after election day as they are in 28 other states
*The bill allows for “curing” of mail-in ballot envelopes for acceptance after poll closure on election day- no curing should occur after the polls close and the votes are being tallied.
What Should the North Carolina House of Representatives do now for free and fair elections in 2024?
*Fix the deficiencies in the Omnibus Elections Bill (noted above) that the Senate passed before it passes out of the House
*Merge in the provisions of House Bill 770 (Access to Voted Ballots) and House Bill 772 (Poll Observers) into the Omnibus Elections Bill so it will more thoroughly protect election integrity
*Start researching and planning now for a meaningful post-election audit after the 2024 election. Survey best practices in other states and assign responsibility to the State Auditor to oversee and direct a thorough and independent audit of the NCSBE’s operations.