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Meet the NC Election Integrity Network

Letting the cat out of the bag…

We can finally explain this Feb 5 teaser pic I posted in social media. That’s Yadkin Valley Tea Party Chairman Mark Hager (lower right) and CCNC Director, JIm Womack talking to dozens of grassroots group leaders from across the state.

(May 2, 2022) Sanford, NC — Voter Integrity Project is proud to announce our part in the North Carolina Election Integrity Team (NCEIT.org), a coalition of grassroots organizations that has jointly developed an action plan to promote Election Integrity Teams in all 100 counties before November’s elections.

Because of the learning opportunities offered during the primaries, NCEIT jumped into action, hosting in-person Poll Observer Workshops all across the state.

Going far beyond having somebody read a bunch of PowerPoint slides to audiences, our situation-based instruction prepares poll observers for what to do when things go sideways.

Whether it’s an Election Judge illegally order a Poll Observer to “go sit in the corner” or when paid poll workers simply ignore state law, our graduates learned how to respond in the moment.

After our graduates report back on what they’ve learned during the primaries, we will be helping many of them to teach other activists in their own counties while growing their own Election Integrity Teams.

A brief history of NCEIT

Election Law Attorney Cleta Mitchell

Late last year, Voter Integrity Project was approached by the Conservative Partnership Institute and Heritage Action for America about building a coalition to fight for election integrity at the local level.

That’s when we reached out to the Conservative Coalition of NC, Liberty First Grassroots, Asheville TEA Party, Yadkin Valley TEA Party, and dozens of grassroots leaders from across to create the North Carolina Election Integrity Team.

Spearheaded by the Conservative Partnership Institute’s Cleta Mitchell, founder of the Election Integrity Network, and Heritage Action for America’s Melody Clark, the DC-based policy organizations have stepped up their efforts to help sustain the state-based election integrity groups that have fought in the trenches for years with little fanfare.

In mid-2021, the Virginia Policy Institute and “Middle Resolution of Virginia,” formed their own Election Integrity Network with a lofty goal of deploying trained poll observers in the Commonwealth’s 130 jurisdictions over the entire 45-day early-voting period.

This was no small feat, but the Virginia Policy Institute’s booklet explains how they covered more than 85% of their precincts and early-voting locations with around 4,500 trained election observers.

Facing an estimated 3.5 early voting location per county in this year’s elections and 2,700 precincts on Election Day, our dauntless task is to train enough patriots to fill around 26,000 four-hour shifts for poll observers across the state.

Strategery

It took around 60 years to enact America’s first Voting Rights Act, so we have to learn from the Left in how to build a consensus for some badly needed reforms.

So, instead of focusing on a single aspect of elections, NCEIT’s purpose is to develop both a long-term and a hyper-local presence that alerts others when rogue election boards try to undermine the democratic process.

If you live in North Carolina, you can join the NCEIT effort by clicking the above image.

Become an election integrity subject matter experts

Pushing effective election reforms is an adult activity that requires both wisdom and experience, which is why we depend on some of the giants who’ve pioneered the way in fighting this hydra-headed problem.

In fact, Cleta hosts the best podcast we’ve seen on the overall issue and it’s presented at a level that even attorneys and election officials can understand! We heartily recommend it as a way to find your way into this epic battlefield.

For those who want to jump in, we invite concerned citizens to start by becoming an expert in any of these eight skill areas:

  1. County Board of Election (CBE) Liaison — Attends election board meetings, interacts with CBE and reports back to relevant civic organizations.
  2. Trained & Certified Poll Observers (plus Judges & Greeters) at every precinct & early voting site
  3. Absentee by Mail Voting Processes (including USPS & CBE management of absentee ballots)
  4. List Maintenance (voter rolls and their management)
  5. Vulnerable Voters (elder care facilities, military ballot management, etc.)
  6. Machines & Technology (scrutiny over lawful certification of machines & software being used)
  7. Statutory Provisions & Compliance (including legislative advocacy to close loopholes in election laws)
  8. Audit Oversight & Development (Advancing the best practices for auditing elections)

Pausing for the Primaries

After training hundreds of activists in Asheville, Yadkin Valley, the Triad, Raleigh-Durham, Goldsboro, Sanford, and Wilmington, we’ve paused the in-person workshops and told our graduates to go practice what they’ve learned by signing up as poll observers during the May primaries.

Lessons learned during the primaries will inform the entire network on how to train more concerned citizens for November. With an estimated 300 early voting locations over a 17-day period and more than 2,700 Election Day precincts, we’ll need an estimated 25,000 four-our shifts statewide.

Anybody wanting to learn more about becoming an effective poll observer can click here for a downloadable Q&A sheet. While NC law only allows a political party to sponsor the poll observers, volunteers do not necessarily have to be a party member.

In fact, VIP-NC’s Founder, Jay DeLancy, has been sponsored into poll observer positions in numerous state an local elections since 2012, all while being registered as Unaffiliated.

DeLancy, whose experience is a key part of the group’s nonpartisan poll observer training program, said observers don’t have to be a registered Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians to participate.

“Rather than making election law only work for one political party,” he said, “our entire process depends on people dedicated to equal protection of the law and that’s the spirit behind our effective-observer training program.”

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