What went wrong with HB 100?
This bill started out to help concerned patriots identify non-US citizens on NC’s voter rolls… but the House amended it to have the opposite effect! As now written, it will actually prevent the public from ever finding non-US citizens on the voter rolls.
This blog entry will explain the “inside baseball” to how the train wreck occurred. Spoiler alert: It can be fixed in the senate! (If you want to help fix it, please click here for an instruction sheet.)
All over it. . .
We had never met, but we later learned that Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow) grasped the work Voter Integrity Project had accomplished three years ago, when VIP initially challenged 532 Wake County voters, who had disqualified themselves from jury duty on the basis of their non-citizenship. A video documents part of that adventure here. It didn’t end well. The Wake County BOE dismissed all of our challenges in what we considered (at the time) to be a kangaroo court. A week later, they quietly removed 11 of our suspected non-citizen voters from the voter rolls and made criminal referrals to ICE. . . but the BOE never admitted we were correct in our original complaint.
We tried to replicate the research on a larger scale, only to learn that the bureaucrats at NC Administrative Office of the Courts had devised a scheme to thwart our effort. This left us with two choices: Either sue the AOC or try to get the law changed. Since offensive lawfare was expensive, we opted for legislative help and that was when we met Rep Cleveland.
A staffer clued us in that Rep. Cleveland (a retired US Marine) had been watching our actions with some interest; so he embraced the idea and introduced HB 281 last session. (He was rewarded for his patriotism with a primary challenger, but that’s another story). His 2013 bill survived the meat grinder of the House and went into the Senate Judiciary II, where Senator Warren Daniel quietly killed it without explanation. We were annoyed, but decided to not make a stink. After all, HB 589 was the 800-pound monster in the room and finding a few non-citizen voters was just another VIP science project. Thankfully, Rep Cleveland had a less sanguine view and made this issue his very first bill in the 2015 session.
Muddying the Water
This year’s House Judiciary II hearing on the bill went south quickly because of some design flaws in the language. Instead of dealing strictly with “disqualifications” (spelled out in § 9-3), it used the term “excusal,” which is an entirely different issue. People are “excused” from jury duty for all sorts of personal reasons and that’s nobody’s business; but people are “disqualified” for only a few reasons and THOSE persons are never even included on the list (mandated in § 9-4) of potential jurors, who may one day be “excused” (by a sitting Judge) from jury duty. It’s confusing, but stick with me!
To be real, there are some vital reasons to protect the names of people on jury lists. (Hmmm…things like stalker ex-boyfriends and gangs threatening bodily harm come to mind.) So we never requested the names of anybody “on” the jury list. We had originally been getting the data because we argued that the people we sought were never “actually allowed to be on” that list and, in fact, were disqualified from being on that list. Several Clerks of Court agreed with our reasoning and they provided the data until an AOC attorney named Pamela Best gave us the Heisman and (basically) dared us to sue them.
But back to this year’s HB 100, all of that reasoning was lost on the committee and there was plenty of blame to go around, starting with me—for not catching the muddy language in the original bill—so don’t get mad at your House member! They all meant well and we have no complaints.
The challenge ahead is where we all need to focus and the actual language we propose will clear up all of the above objections. Unless somebody finds another loophole, we believe the proposed language will shame people away from blocking HB 100 in the Senate. . . unless, of course, they really don’t want to help the public learn about non-citizen voters are on the rolls.
How You Can Help:
This year’s bill again went into Senate Judiciary II committee and Sen. Daniel still heads it; but this time, it will be different, because there are less distractions. We need to hold their feet to the fire on this issue now. . . this session. . . and not “wait for next time.” It will never be better than today!
If your State Senator is on the following list, we need your help:
Senate Judiciary II is chaired by Senators Barranger, Daniel and Randleman.
Its members are Alexander, Barefoot, Bingham, Bryant, Cook, Curtis, J. Davis, J. Jackson, Krawiec, Lowe, McInnis, Smith-Ingram, Van Duyn, Wells & Woodard. (To get a hotlink to their page, please click the above committee link and then click on their name from that page.)
What to Say
It’s simple and complicated at the same time; so the shortest answer I can give you is to ask them “to look at VIP’s recommend PCS language” (available by clicking here). If that’s not good enough for your highbrow, then cool! Please read the language yourself! We’d honestly rather that each of you digest the information and speak to your Senator from your heart. So. . . if you do decide to help by taking this action, thanks (in advance) for helping the citizens of NC take back their government from the bureaucrats.