Collusive Settlement Drives Faulty On-Line Voting Bill

Nov 22, 2021

While we appreciate our friends who called lawmakers to complain about SB 724, a bill that would allow expand on-line voting opportunities, we regret not having more information before the bill emerged on the calendar. Today’s podcast fixes that issue. . . bigly.

Bottom Line, Up-Front: The current bill language gives an untold number of voters the ability to commit a crime that’s nearly impossible to detect and–if it were detected–nearly impossible to prosecute.

We will close with a way to close that detection-prosecution gap.

Legislating by Lawfare

Hat tip to the Senate attorney who gave us the court ruling that drove the NCGA’s poorly conceived bill., but their breathless excuse was that without a law, NC Director of Elections, Karen Brinson Bell could “do whatever she wants.”

What’s the point, since one of the bill’s sponsors, told the House Rules Committee, the bill gives the hyper-partisan Director Bell “every ask” that she made of them?

Meanwhile, the feedback we’re getting from angry callers is that politicians are saying, “this law just codifies a court ruling, so we don’t really have any choice.”

So. . . exactly what’s in that ruling?

The case, Taliaferro v. NC State Board of Elections, was filed by an activist group called Disability Rights NC, suing Democrat election administrators who only expressed “limited opposition” to the initial complaint (see page 2 of the final order).

Big Picture: We got Democracy activists suing Democrat election officials, who were represented by a Democrat Attorney General with “limited” opposition to the matter.

District Court Judge  Terrence Boyle consented to the friendly settlement and for the cost of filing a lawsuit, they enacted de facto law.

But wait, there’s more!

As an added bonus, the attorneys were allowed to bill the taxpayers for their trouble! (See page 7).

And then, to spike the football, the Democracy Gang almost tricked lawmakers into rewriting state law!

Rather than trying to win elections, why not litigate your way into power?!

Bbbbut it’s a felony…

We put a hard question to our legislators: How does this law prevent rational people from abusing the portal?

The answer was a feckless portion of SB 724 (v.4), which states, “ Any person who willfully and knowingly and with fraudulent intent gives false information on a voter registration application submitted under this section is guilty of a Class I felony.” [Emphasis added.]

How does a law against abusing a crime prevent it?

Aren’t there laws against speeding?

Like so most felonies listed under our election statutes, it’s only enforceable when election officials are motivated.

Suppose ten thousand eyeglass wearers suddenly identified as “visually impaired” and used to on-line voting portal to swing an election.

Who would prosecute it?

Given the hyper-partisan SBE leadership, the answer depends on which side benefits.

In our experience, Democrat voter fraud causes prosecutors to start “lawyer-splaning” how proving intent is just too difficult.

At least, that’s been the case with hundreds of interstate Florida and New York double voters we’ve referred to SBE officials over the years.

We only know of four prosecutions. All of them were Republicans.

District Attorneys in NC and Florida made excuses not for Democrats and declined to prosecute.

In one case, the detective even sent Florida prosecutors a statement, sworn by a Flagler County woman, who admitted voting in her daughter’s name. But they were both Democrats, so nothing happened.

Bottom Line: since hyper-partisan Election officials selectively enforce the law, declaring it “a felony” is almost pointless. . . unless there’s accountability.

Cyber Experts Oppose Online Voting

Judge Boyle’s rubber stamp on the plaintiff’s lawsuit included a direct order for SBE to use an on-line voting tool called “Democracy Live.”

The reasoning goes that since it’s already being used for overseas military and civilian voters in some states, what’s the big deal about expanding it to “visually impaired” voters?

First off, who gets to define the term, visually impaired”? If I misplaced my glasses, would that qualify me to use the special portal?

Second, some MIT scientists pointed out how such voters can lose their privacy in the deal.

Third, while fraud is calculated into the cost of everything from credit cards to insurance, election fraud is different. If nothing else, the 2020 elections showed the difficulty of investigating election fraud before the contest is certified. And after certification, the law provides even less remedies.

Balancing Access with Integrity

Until the return of our Lord, every government and private institution will have a certain degree of fraud woven into the fabric. It’s called “original sin,” meaning nobody is perfect, so there is no perfect solution to election integrity.

The brilliant Thomas Sowell taught that live is about tradeoffs. So, neither extreme is acceptable.

A most fraud-proof election would involve armed guards not letting anybody near the ballot box, while the most open election would allow ballot drop boxes all over the place and the state mailing out millions of unsolicited ballots.

One of those extremes is a unrealistic and told for hyperbole. The other is not.

Integrity Provisions

In the case of on-line voting for the “visually impaired,” here are some safeguards that might be worth considering for anyone attempting to use the on-line voter portal:

First,they will need to create a legal definition of “visually impaired.”

Second, in order to vote, each user would have to check a block, claiming that they qualify under that strict legal definition as being “visually impaired.” To lie about that qualification is objective proof that the voter intended to commit fraud.

Third, require each user to check a block acknowledging that they understand the law prohibits unqualified persons from using the on-line voting portal.

Fourth, in order to give candidates the chance to root out the fraud in a close election, we require election officials to include a column in their nightly absentee voter reports, telling exactly which voters used the on-line portal. We already do this for Same-Day Registration voters, so it’s not an impossible program change.

Bottom Line: Without taking the opportunity to build in some fraud-prevention and detection mechanisms, “simply codifying” the collusive courtroom settlement scheme will make matters worse.

Let’s fix 724!


Click image to launch video podcast.