Judicial Watch is known for suing government entities, and now it has set its sights on the Guilford County Board of Elections office, which is hard to understand.
Democrats and Republicans disagree on all manner of issues, but in Guilford County there is general agreement that the Guilford County elections office is well run and fair.
Guilford County Director of Elections Charlie Collicutt said that he had received the letter from Judicial Watch stating that if changes were not made Judicial Watch planned to sue the county for violating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
Collicutt said, “I object to their statistics.”
The Judicial Watch letter to Collicutt and Karen Bell, the executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, states that Guilford County has voter registration rolls that equal 102 percent of the population of Guilford County eligible to vote.
Collicutt said, “My numbers are closer to 88 percent.”
Since Guilford County is growing, if the 2010 census figures were used, that could account for the discrepancy. But since 2020 is a census year, it should be obvious to anyone that the 2010 Census numbers are no longer accurate.
The letter also states that only 3,400 people were removed from the voter registration rolls in the past two years.
Collicutt said, “I wholeheartedly disagree with that number.”
He explained, “From 12/12/17 to 12/12/19, we removed 63,000 voters.”
The NVRA doesn’t leave much room for interpretation on when a registered voter is removed from the list. The voter has to have not voted or had any interaction with the election’s office during two federal election cycles, which means four years. At that point the elections office sends a card to the voter. If the voter responds, they stay on the list; if they don’t respond then they are moved to the inactive list.
A voter on the inactive list is still eligible to vote, but if they do vote they are asked if they have moved or if there is some other reason they didn’t respond to the notice from the Board of Elections. If the voter doesn’t vote for two more federal election cycles then they are removed from the list. However, the voter can still vote but must do so with a provisional ballot, which means the Board of Elections will make the decision on whether or not to count the vote.
Collicutt said that he removes people who have died, moved or been convicted of felonies from the voter registration rolls every day, and once a year the voters who haven’t voted and haven’t responded to the notice are moved to the inactive list or removed, as the case may be.
He said, “We do that. We are a professional organization and that is part of the job and we do these things.”
There are some counties in North Carolina that are notorious for having problems with their elections, but Guilford is not one of them, which makes it difficult to understand why Judicial Watch would pick on Guilford County.
According to a press release from Judicial Watch, the only two counties in the state that received such notices are Guilford and Mecklenburg.