The Democrats are refusing to follow the laws for handling absentee ballots that was finally resolved after numerous court cases and two U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Friday, Oct. 30, U.S. District Court Judge Bill Osteen once again rebuked the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) for not requiring two county boards of elections to obey the state law regarding absentee ballots.
The SBE and all 100 county boards of elections in the state have Democratic majorities, which means Republicans have little say in how election laws are interpreted or enforced.
However, Judge Osteen has been clear in his rulings that the state law requiring absentee ballots to be signed by one witness should be obeyed.
The ruling on Friday states, “It is inconceivable to this court that, after months of litigation, the SBE has implemented a cure procedure that fails to comply with the express requirements of state law. State law clearly requires that the country boards receive the printed name, address, and signature of the witness. N.C. Sess. Laws 2020-17 (H.B. 1169) S 1. (a).”
The issue is the witness signature on absentee ballots and, according to the ruling by Osteen, two county boards of elections are allowing absentee ballots to be counted without a legible witness signature or printed witness name and address.
The ruling states, “This court therefore finds as a fact that under the guidance and supervision of the SBE, county boards of elections are accepting and processing absentee ballots after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard, as well as a related cure procedure for ballots that do not include the statutorily required name or address of the witness – and in some circumstances, for ballots containing no information which might enable direct identification of the witness.”
The SBE tried earlier in the whole litigation process to count ballots that did not have the required witness information, and it was ordered by the courts that it could not do so. But according to this ruling by Osteen, the SBE is doing it anyway.
Osteen’s ruling after finding that the SBE is violating state law also notes that because of a Supreme Court ruling, “this court is prevented from ordering the SBE, a state actor, to conform with state law within the parameters of this case.”
So the ruling finds that the SBE is violating state law, but that the federal court is unable to do anything other than make note of that fact.