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Possibilites for Positive Election Law Reforms (Part 4 of 4)

[North Carolina’s veto-proof Republican State Senate recently fast tracked a bill called “No Partisan Advantage in Elections (SB 749)” and sent it over to the veto-proof Republican House. On it’s surface, the bill sounds like an idea everybody could support. . . which is why we’re peeking under the hood to see what’s inside it. This is the final part in a 4-part series. Today’s post proposes a few solutions to the abysmal public trust in our electoral process.]

If you’ve follow this website, you’re painfully aware how much we hate the current version of Senate Bill 749, and elaborated in a three-part series. You can review “The Good” by clicking here, “The Bad” by clicking here, and “The Ugly” by clicking here. Today’s final installment offers ways to mitigate this bill’s more lethal effects.

Take Your Pick: Transparency or Suppression

Naturally, the knee-jerk way to restore public trust in out electoral process is to suppress anybody questioning the outcome. Evidence of how this tactic occurred when YouTube simply removed several of our podcast videos.

On top of shutting down any disagreeable critics, the state-controlled media parrots the exact same message across all media platforms and anybody who disagrees is dismissed as some kind of kook or a “conspiracy theorist.”

A better way to restore public trust is to enhance transparency in the process and that’s what the remainder of this post addresses.

Divided Power

Since the State Board of Elections’ very public 2018 character assassination of Congressman-elect Mark Harris, we have begged lawmakers break up North Carolina’s State Board of Elections and reassign personnel to various state agencies that would force more transparency.

 

America’s founders understood the dangers of concentrated power.

Despite our efforts, they clearly did not listen and instead are creating the perfect story for North Carolina to become the next Georgia, Arizona, and California, in that order. Without dividing off some of the SBE’s power, the adoption of a “nonpartisan” approach will simply drive more power down to the staff level.

Law Enforcement Division

At a minimum, we suggested removing both Campaign Finance Division and the Election Fraud Division over to another state agency.

It could be either the Secretary of State or the State Auditor, but lawmakers balked because both are currently controlled by the Democrats.

Arizona moved fraud investigations over to their Attorney General’s offices, so anything is possible. The key is to pick one and chop that function some agency that answers to another agency whose leader is elected statewide.

We first proposed variations of this idea to House election law specialist, Neal Inman, along with (then) House Elections Committee Co-Chair, Holly Grange. Much later, we proposed it to Senate election law specialist Brent Woodcox, along with Senators Hise, Newton, and Daniel.

Instead of listening, they gave us SB 749, a bill to take all the power away from the Governor and give it either to the Secretary of State or themselves.

“BBBut… don’t worry,” our lawmakers will tell you, “it’s going to be nonpartisan!”

Voter Registration Division

Another idea we’ve floated to lawmakers was for the SBE to regain total control of the voter registration process by actually owning personnel in other state agencies that are wantonly registering people to vote.

For example, as things currently operate at DMV, those partisan hires have regularly been caught registering voters who openly told the DMV they were not US citizens. Our poster child for this claim is Damien Omar Sullivan, a Jamaican national who obtained a “Legal Presence” driver license and was then asked if he wanted to register to vote!

Multiply the number of non-citizen drivers by the number of non citizens who apply for public assistance and we quickly reach the tipping point.

So, in transparent elections, all agencies registering voters would have registrars who are trained and paid by the state’s chief elections official. These registrars are the first line of defense for registrations coming in from other agencies.

List Maintenance Division

A third area would have to fully focus on registrations NGOs that conduct their own voter registration drives and all Same-Day Registration voters. This one gets complicated real fast.

This fraud-friendly practice was legalized into federal law by the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, or NVRA or “Motor Voter”.

We see it as unconstitutional because Section 8 of NVRA says, “(2)(A) A State shall complete, not later than 90 days prior to the date of a primary or general election for Federal office, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.”

In 2016, Mike Hyers reported evidence of 7,000 faulty voter registrations. 

In 2016, this draconian provision was even extended to Voter Integrity Project’s own list-maintenance efforts! We’re not a state agency; but a rogue federal judge extended that 90-day rule to negate our work which had forced state officials to reinstate around 6,000 ineligible voters in Cumberland and Moore Counties.

The problem is that outside NGOs can and have flooded election offices with voter registrations up to 30 days of the election and Same-Day Registration voters can be added to the rolls on the Saturday prior to the Tuesday election.

Recently uncovered police reports confirmed in Michigan how the City Clerk of Muskegon received around 10,000 voter registrations. As documented by independent media here, once the FBI took over the case, it fell into a black hole, effectively suppressing further investigation or reporting. Next, Politifact swung into action by citing FBI inaction as proof the story was “mostly false.

Lest we forget, in the post-2008 news, 18 former ACORN workers were either convicted or pled guilty of election fraud after the 2008 elections.

Hey. Didja know that North Carolina had their own cases of ACORN voter registration fraud in 2008? NCSBE Director (at the time), Gary Bartlett said they only identified “about 120” illegal registrations in Wake and Durham Counties, “but the problem does not appear to be widespread.”

Nobody was prosecuted and nobody questioned the scope of that investigation.

One CBE Director complained to me in 2012 about how 1,000 new voters were dumped on her office shortly before the election and they had no guidance on how to quality check them.

We also documented in 2020 how at least one county didn’t bother sending out any SDR verification mailings until after the canvass.

Multiply those problems by 100 counties and we see the need for a separate division that’s 100% focused on the timely screening of all SDR and NGO voter registrations.

In All Humility…

We don’t pretend to have all of the answers to fixing SB 749, but we have offered the most urgent fixes.

Besides empowering the SoS, the other deal killer involves how the bill neuters both County and State GOP and Democrat Party Chairs, when it comes to picking poll judges.

It’s a bad look when politicians completely control the parties and have no room for the actual voters.

In the end, we will all just hand our ballots over to some government official who will then tell us who “won” the election and questioning the outcome will be a crime, making some ask, “why should I bother voting?”

This is called suppression and 749 weaponizes that approach.

The bill is still worth advancing, but not unless we see more transparency features.

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