For those hoping to minimize vote fraud, we respectfully submit these broad concepts and more refined suggested talking points on the proposed State Board of Elections changes to NC Administrative Code (NCAC) currently being discussed in public hearings across the state.
- Eliminate vague language. 08 NCAC 17 .0102. (f). Lines 90-91 It’s a lopsided idea to construe all evidence “in the light most favorable to the person” presenting to vote. This language should be removed.
Rationale: It’s too vague. As a result, some Blueprint activists will probe the system for weaknesses by presenting a family member’s driver license that has a facial image mismatch, stark enough to trigger a rejection. When that happens, the litigation arm (perhaps, the ACLU) will burrow up and attempt to nullify the law via judicial activism. They will claim the fuzzy language prevents poll workers from rejecting any ID cards whatsoever . . . and with a corrupt judge, they might succeed.
We recommend more neutral language, like, “At all times, common sense should apply in evaluating the image of voters presenting their ID cards.”
- Protect persons legally declared mentally incompetent. In 08 NCAC 17 .0102. (f), lines 95 & 96 should be edited to delete the clause “or by other person;”
Rationale: If a voter is mentally incapable of proffering an explanation, then “other persons” could too easily harvest the votes of people who are legally declared mentally incompetent.
We’ve interviewed several witnesses to this type of same far-fetched scenario after it happened to countless numbers of mentally incompetent voters in group homes, hospitals and nursing facilities all across the state.
In one case, an Easter Seals group home employee allegedly coached her ward (a 20-something woman with the mind of a 4-year-old) into uttering one word over and over. Like a trained seal earning a treat (her distraught father told me) she would clap her hands and excitedly shout, “Obama! Obama! Obama!” when he asked, “Who are you voting for?” She had no theory of mind, but it’s far too easy for people to steal her vote . . . and someone did.
The above rule allows others to help such voters explain why their address (or name) doesn’t match. Since such vote-theft victims would not be able to explain their problem, prohibiting that “other’s” help would make it harder for partisan nursing home employees to steal ballots or even votes from their mentally incompetent patients.
- Remove the curbside voter ID exception. In 08 NCAC 17 .0103. (f), lines 121-122, “An election official assisting curbside voters shall require identification of curbside voters pursuant to G.S. 163-166.9(b).” If Senate Bill 49 is passed, that language will need to be deleted.
Rationale: In one of HB 589’s two most fraud-friendly provisions, somebody managed to sneak in some tricky language that exempted curbside voters from the new ID requirements. Senators Jerry Tillman (primary), Bill Cook, Joyce Krawiec, Buck Newton, Louis Pate and Ronald Rabin sponsored SB 49 to close this gaping loophole. When it passes, this language will need to be deleted.
- Increase electoral transparency. In 08 NCAC 17 .0105. (a)(2), lines 151 should insert, after the word, “felony,” the following words: “and this declaration is public record.”
Rationale: We are glad (as the rule states) that it’s a felony for somebody to lie about their religion in order to steal a vote; but unless the affidavit is public record, election officials and District Attorneys rarely investigate and prosecute such low-level criminals. When local election integrity activists can check behind them, it might . . . just might . . . shame such public “servants” into doing their jobs.
- Really increase electoral transparency. And finally, as an overall philosophy, we recommend transparency and public accountability in every voter ID dispute. This is especially important for people claiming an address that doesn’t match their license. The voter still votes, but not without signing a sworn affidavit, attesting to the validity of their address (or their actual name) and this affidavit should be public record. The same idea applies to persons voting with any federal ID (passports, military, tribal and veteran ID cards), allowed under NC election law.
There are two critically important reasons we advocate this simple fix.
First, minimizing “magic movers.” These super gifted voters will report a new Election Day address that magically allows them to vote in a tight race. Campaign operatives (or “haulers”) exploited this type of vote fraud in the 2013 Pembroke town hall race by mobilizing voters who lived in the county but not in the electoral district of their machine candidate.
In that race, the incumbent, Councilman Allen Dial, was accused of encouraging a voter to claim her old address, because it was in his district, rather than to update her address at the polls. The voter turned state’s witness and said he coached her during the ride he provided for her. The trip originated at her true domicile, which was outside his district, so her vote was illegal.
There was more vote fraud in the race, but that single, fraudulent vote, gave Dial a 299-299 tie against Theresa Locklear. The tie still existed after two recounts and Dial won by drawing the higher card from a deck. The SBOE ordered a new election and referred the case over to the SBI. Thankfully, Dial lost the do-over, but not before the Robeson County taxpayers ponied up the cost for that special election.
Second, minimize opportunistic voters. It’s perfectly legal for people using federal ID cards to vote without proof of residence in the precinct, county or even the state. We would never support disenfranchising such voters, but honest elections would have them sign an affidavit, attesting to their claimed address and the public would have access to that information.
This type of vote fraud is popular in border places like Mecklenburg, Dare and the superstars in Gates, but it actually happens everywhere. According to Virginia Voter Alliance Director, Reagan George, this type of vote fraud may have affected the commonwealth’s tightly contested 2013 Attorney General race in which large numbers of Fairfax County voters insisted on using their passports as ID.
Reagan received reports that when poll workers asked for proof of residence, some voters strongly resisted, arguing that proof of residence is not required under Virginia law. Setting aside the obvious questions about how they had a passport but no license and how those smart alecks knew that technicality in the law, I’m sad to report the same loophole exists in NC.
Yup. It is against the law for NC poll workers to request proof of address voters who use federal ID cards or passports, but no law prevents the BOE from requiring a sworn affidavit in the process. Happily, this minor inconvenience would deter much mischief in a close election.
Bottom Line: Balance the public debate. It’s astonishing (but no big secret) that Blueprint “progressive” groups are fighting to weaken any law that reduces vote fraud, so it’s important for liberty lovers to provide more reasoned input at these hearings and / or written comments to the State Board of Elections. The hearings end June 12, but written comments may be submitted until June 30.
Note: You might like to click here for Jay DeLancy’s “gonzo” account of the first public hearing, June 3, 2015 in Raleigh.