The North Carolina State Board of Elections office sent out a memo this month instructing the county boards of elections to violate the state law that requires voter registration forms to be signed by the applicant.
For some reason the mainstream media have decided that the State Board of Elections violating the elections law and then apparently backdating a memo in an effort to protect an employee is not news.
Civitas broke the story on Friday, Oct. 21. I have been looking for the mainstream media to pick it up, but as of Wednesday, Oct. 26, I haven’t been able to find any mention of it.
How can it not be news when the North Carolina State Board of Elections tells the county boards to ignore state law, days before a statewide election in a presidential election year, especially when North Carolina is considered a swing state.
The Civitas articles by Frank DeLuca and Susan Myrick detail how the state office sent notices to all 100 county boards of elections offices telling the counties to ignore the law that requires the applicant to sign the voter registration form. The state board of elections staff has a history of making decisions to benefit Democrats and this appears to be more of the same. Recently a staff member was fired after Civitas revealed she was hodling classes teaching peopel how to commit voter fraud.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections is a bipartisan five-member board appointed by the governor. Because North Carolina has a Republican governor, three of the members are Republicans and two are Democrats. But it doesn’t matter if the State Board of Elections is all Republicans if the staff of the elections office is making policy decisions behind the scenes, apparently in the hopes of benefitting Democratic candidates.
Why would a Republican state government agency be taking action to benefit Democratic candidates? Perhaps it is that when Gov. Pat McCrory took office in 2012, it was the first time in over 120 years the Republicans controlled the North Carolina state government. For years, many of the jobs in state government were effectively closed to Republicans because of their party affiliation. It appears that the State Board of Elections office is doing business as it has for the past century, benefitting Democrats despite the fact that the voters of North Carolina elected a Republican governor, and large Republican majorities in both the state House and the state Senate.
According to Civitas, Veronica Degraffenreid, the election preparation and support manager for the State Board of Elections sent out the message to all 100 counties “to disregard the law that requires signatures on voter registration forms.” Counties were told to move voter registration forms that were in the incomplete file, because they lacked a signature, to the review file, which would make those people eligible to vote in the fall election even though they had not properly registered to vote.
This could have been passed off as one employee misunderstanding the law requiring the voter registration forms to be signed, but after Civitas published the article on Friday, Oct. 21, it was contacted by the State Board of Elections office and told that Degraffenreid was not acting on her own but with the full support of the “leadership team” at the elections office. The indication from the State Board of Elections office was that the “leadership team” did not include any members of the State Board of Elections.
So according to the State Board of Elections office, this was not one rogue employee making a bad decision but a decision made by the staff to ignore state law. Purposefully violating state law should be enough of a reason to fire state employees, particularly when it involves something as critical as a statewide election.
Then the State Board of Elections office staff doubled down on their actions by apparently backdating a numbered memo about the same topic. The follow-up article by Deluca and Myrick notes that the numbered memo about disregarding the state law requiring voter registration forms to be signed was dated Oct. 4, but according to the numbering sequence was produced after three memos written after Oct. 4. So it appears that either the folks at the State Board of Elections office in Raleigh can’t count very well, which is disturbing, or they backdated the memo to make it appear it had been written before the first Civitas article was published on Oct. 21. Or if they subscribe to the Hillary Clinton defense, it could just be a coincidence that the memo in question is out of order.
This isn’t the first time the State Board of Elections staff has ignored the law requiring registration forms to be signed.
Civitas found the State Board of Elections office in 2012 allowing the Obama campaign to let voters register online, which can’t be done legally in North Carolina since a signature is necessary. The research for those articles indicates why this appears to favor Democrats. In an incomplete survey of those registering online without signatures in 2012, it was found that 68 percent were Democrats, 10 percent Republicans and 21 percent unaffiliated. Of course, these were people registered by the Obama campaign so you would expect a higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans. But since Degraffenreid was also a key player in that scheme, it seems a safe bet that the number of voters allowed to register or change their registration without a signature will turn out to be heavily Democratic this year.
In 2012 at least 11,000 people were allowed to register online without the signature required by state law.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections does not have the authority to violate state law. Certainly the office staff without the approval of the state board doesn’t have that authority.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was criticized for saying he didn’t know if he would accept the results of the presidential election. Should any candidate accept the results of an election if the staff of the State Board of Elections is ignoring the state law on voter registration?
In 2008, President Barack Obama won North Carolina by 14,177 votes out of 4.2 million votes cast. In 2012, Obama, despite the fact that so many Democrats were allowed to improperly register, lost North Carolina by 92,000 votes, still a close statewide election.
In 2000, Vice President Al Gore, who didn’t accept the results of that election, was desperately looking for a few hundred additional votes in Florida, and if he had found them, he would have been president. George W. Bush won Florida by 537 votes and the presidency after a Supreme Court ruling stopped the search for more votes in Florida.
It’s time for the Republicans to take action at the State Board of Elections office. The office should first and foremost uphold the laws of North Carolina and ensure fair elections where everyone is treated equally. If good arguments can be made that a signature on the voter registration form is no longer needed, then the state legislature can change the law. But the state board of elections office has no authority to arbitrarily decide to ignore a law presently on the books.
The State Board of Elections office has other issues that aren’t involved with tilting the playing field in favor of the Democratic Party but indicate the office has problems. It seems that each election the public posting of the returns is held up by the State Board of Elections office. All the local returns are sent to the state and then the state puts those returns up on the website for the public. Year after year there are glitches at the state level and the public posting is delayed. Counting votes is critical and if the state office isn’t capable of accepting the returns from the 100 counties and putting them up on the website in a timely manner, changes need to be made.
With a presidential election days away, it may not be the best time to clean house, but with proof that the State Board of Elections office is violating state law, the matter shouldn’t be delayed any longer than absolutely necessary.