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Beware the Leftist Lies About Observer Bill

Bob Hall, formerly headed the Soros-backed Democracy NC

Aug 9, 2023 — The Left’s panic over HB 772, a bill codifying Poll Observer rights, has been exposed through an alarming propaganda campaign being pushed by Uber-Leftist, Bob Hall.

For those new to this arena, Bob Hall is the “retired” Director of a Soros-backed group called, Democracy NC, and he recently socialized a panic-inducing letter designed to manipulate County Board of Election (CBE) members into lobbying the Legislature against statutory poll-observer rights.

In order to con more board members into his push, Hall’s email included a letter signed by all five members of the Graham CBE, who copied its contents from the letter he distributed and signed by “32 long-serving Republican and Democratic county elections board members.”

Since two of Graham’s board members identify as “Republican,” we see problems ahead for Graham County and, for that matter, any other county whose GOP election board members who followed Hall’s lead.

Misinformation on Parade

It’s important to see through the deception Hall employed in the letter, so here we go.

First comes his claim that the bill “‘would permit’ up to 12 partisan observers to ‘move freely around the voting enclosure’ at any time.”

Not true. The law already does this.

Since two “precinct specific” observers and one “at-large” observer are already allowed under NCGS 163-45 and four political parties are registered in NC, current law permits up to 12 poll observers at one time.

The only reason this measure was needed was because former State Board of Elections (SBE) Director Kim Strach, he agency issued an Agency Code allowing only one at-large observer, even when no other observers were present. HB 772 reverses Strach’s nefarious action.

Second, in a partly false, claim, Hall wrote “HB 772 would permit observers to … audio or video record their conversations with poll workers, voter intake paperwork and ballot machines.”

False! It does NOT allow video recordings of conversations with poll workers or “intake paperwork” (whatever that means).

By collapsing many aspects of the bill into a short hyperbolic sentence, Hall brutalized the truth.

By not prohibiting it, NCGS 163-166.3(b) tacitly allows both audio recordings of conversations and video recordings of inanimate objects like machines or signs. It does this by only addressing the photography of voters and not  prohibiting any other recordings or imagery.

As we know in traffic law, you cannot get a parking ticket unless there’s a “no parking” sign.

Applying the same principle, we’ve reminded poll observers they can audio record any conversations they have with Judges in order to protect themselves from verbal abuse or false accusations.

Also, there’s no law against collecting visual imagery of the poll tapes and no law prohibiting photography of illegal signage that’s sometimes placed inside the polling location.

Being fully aware of our advice, SBE Director Karen Bell created guidance beyond the law, to prohibit all audio and video recordings, whether or not voters are present.

HB 772 reverses her administrative overreach.

Opposing Civil Rights Laws

In fairness, we must admit that one thing Mr. Hall wrote in his letter is actually true!

It involves making something a crime under state law that is already a crime under 18 USC 245, a federal civil rights law.

We’re sure Mr. Hall knows that it’s a federal crime to intimidate or interfere with a voter or a poll watcher and violations can result in fines, prison sentences, or both.

Filing suit under federal law is so costly that only the well-heeled “lefty lawfare” organizations can afford it; but making it also a misdemeanor under NC law allows even the poor to file warrants with their local magistrates.

We’re surprised to see Mr. Hall abandon the force of civil rights laws so easily.

Bad Omen

Overall, it raises serious competency questions when we see Republican CBE Board members not bothering to check the facts before publicly supporting a Bob Hall effort.

We’ve clearly documented partisan precinct packing by election officials in Bladen County and in Forsyth County, so  this problem is widespread.

With election officials actively helping minimize the number of Republican poll workers, observers are the last hope!

If a GOP board member gets sucked into signing on, they’re making parity even harder.

When they wilt under this pressure, what will they do when the stakes are higher?

At the very least, we hope GOP Chairs will bring such gullible Board members in for some serious training.

On the other extreme, maybe regular party members should file party disloyalty charges.

Board members are supposed to support the party’s interests and not the staff’s.

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