North Carolina State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) announced that a federal lawsuit had been filed to challenge the settlement agreement made by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

The State Board of Elections had been sued and reached an agreement to settle that lawsuit, as the federal lawsuit notes, by making changes the state elections director had asked the legislature to make. However, the bipartisan bill passed by the legislature in June did not include those changes.

Among the changes agreed to in the settlement were that absentee ballots did not have to be signed by a witness, that drop boxes could be used so absentee ballots could be dropped off anonymously, and that absentee ballots that arrived at the elections office up to nine days after the election could be counted.

The lawsuit states that the Article I, Section 4 of the US Constitution states, “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the Legislature thereof;”

And in the case of the settlement agreement the State Board of Elections was itself setting the time and manner of the election in direct contrivance of the statute passed by the legislature.

According to the press release, “The filing notes that courts have repeatedly upheld the same statutes the State Board of Elections is now trying to unilaterally reform without authority, and the Rules Review Commission previously rejected their efforts in a unanimous 9-0 vote.”

It also states, “As a ‘creature of statue,’ the lawsuits notes, the state board lacks the power to change state law.”

The lawsuit also states that over 200,000 absentee ballots have already been received by the various county boards of elections – under the old rules. Those submitting absentee ballots if the new “settlement” rules went into effect would be allowed to vote in the same election under less stringent rules than those that were applied to the earlier voters, thus depriving those voters of their right to a free and fair election.

Moore in the press release states, “This agreement was official action, taken without constitutional or statutory authority, to influence the 2020 election after voting already started in a disgrace to American due process. We have asked the court to preserve North Carolinians right to a fair and nonpartisan elections system free from backroom schemes launched after over 200,000 voters have already cast their ballots.”