Is Durham running out of luck?

Oct 8, 2021

Yesterday, the NC Freedom Caucus fired a shot heard around the world at election officials in an effort to claw back some of the hyper confidentiality secrecy tactics the agency uses as they count our votes and declare the elections’ winners and losers.

The Freedom Caucus’ first attempts was rebuffed by NC State Board of Elections Director, Karen Bell last July, after the Caucus proposed looking at just two machines to see if there were any modem cards on the motherboards, as is the case in some models of the ES&S DS200 vote-counting machines that (we’re told) are used in 96 of the state’s 100 counties.

Today’s podcast discusses the event documented in this page’s first video link (shown directly below).

Representative Jeff McNeely (R-Iredell County) drew Durham County’s name from a hat containing the names of each of North Carolina’s 100 counties and vowed to examine their machines with our without their permission.

The county is no stranger to controversy when it comes to election integrity. During the 2016 primary, an election poll worker was convicted for taking illegal actions that affected 1,900 ballots. He skated with a 30-day jail sentence that was suspended, meaning no incarceration. But don’t worry, election officials said, luckily, the ballot chicanery had no impact on the final tallies.

And who could forget that year’s November election, when a late-night “discovery” of 94,000 previously uncounted ballots in Durham County which luckily (for Democrats) flipped the outcome of three statewide elections from Republican to Democrat?

In another aspect of that “discovery” of 94,000 uncounted ballots was exactly which offices were flipped by the Durham Dump: The three elected offices whose winners happen to hold subpoena power under NC law.

Knowing Durham County’s past lucky streak at impacting crucial Democrat elections, I have to admit I was praying, “let it be Durham, let it be Durham, let it be Durham,” as McNeely fished around the hat.

By selecting Durham as the lucky winner, we can only conclude the either a) God answered my prayer, or b) Jeff McNeely is a magician. Either way, Durham’s election officials are soon becoming the center of attention for electoral transparency efforts in NC.

Just to make sure the other tickets didn’t all say “Durham” on them, I asked Rep McNeely if I could take a picture of the tickets not drawn. He quickly approved and the two television stations covering the event quickly followed my lead and obtained their own copies.

Legal Authority

Part of the podcast reviews the laws that grant subpoena powers to legislative committees.

One of the NC Audit Force leaders, Carol Snow, gets credit for showing VIP where this legislative subpoena power is established in state law. We’re just glad to see that lawmakers found the same provision.

Any House or Senate committee can subpoena witnesses or evidence under the provisions of NCGS §120-19.2. In certain cases, if such people refuse to honor the subpoena, §120-19.4 covers how the committee can have the uncooperative witness punished in either civil or criminal proceedings.

Not only no, but . . .

Not taking this latest turn of events lightly, SCSBE Director Bell responded emphatically, by saying (in effect) “see ya in court,” with a sharply worded letter to lawmakers.

Bell then forwarded the letter to her 100 county election directors, along with an email summary of her main arguments. The podcast spends to time reviewing the email arguments, but the actual email is shown below.

Stay tuned to this fight. If the Legislature is serious about their efforts, they’re in for a rough fight . . . that they will ultimately win.


To watch the desktop version of today’s podcast (after it’s fully ingested into YouTube’s servers) please click the following image.