Voter Photo ID update: The House Elections and Ethics Law Committee began discussion of their version of the bill on Monday night, it is identical to the one passed by the Senate so far. The committee will resume discussion on Tuesday at 11am (room 643 in the Legislative Office Building) and will accept public comments. Several Democratic representatives are introducing the North Carolina Vote Act, which would signficantly expand the proposed Republican bill. We can guess where that will go. See Friday's post for what you can still do TODAY.
As we mentioned on Friday, the NC Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement as currently constituted was ruled unconstitutional in October and set to "expire" on Dec 2. "But wait, aren't they in middle of a brouhaha about some alleged shenanigans in the NC 9th District Congressional race?," you might ask. Why, yes, they've twice refused to certify that race based on credible allegations of election fraud and triggered an investigation that is ongoing. The Wake County DA also reports having an ongoing investigation into Bladen County "irregularities" dating back to the 2016 election. WSOCTV also is investigating in Bladen County and finding suspicious activity around absentee ballots. Their most recent report is here. Joe Bruno is the lead journalist on that team, follow him on Twitter for more as it unfolds.
The three-judge panel issued a two-week reprieve over the weekend, so the current board will continue to function for that long while the NCGA and Gov Cooper try to hammer out a compromise on the composition, appointment authority, and remit of a new board. Anyone want to place a bet on how that goes? AND lest we imagine that this is NOT a soap opera of the first order, the chairperson of the current board resigned over the weekend in response to allegations of partisanship based on some of his Twitter posts; Gov Cooper appointed a replacement on Monday. AND Democrats are considering calling for a new election in the 9th District if the election fraud allegations are substantiated, while Republicans are calling for the race to be certified NOW, while the investigation is ongoing.
So in NC right now we have:
- an unconstitutional Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement that was created by the Republican majority in the NCGA and ordered to be replaced by Dec 2
- whose life has been extended for two weeks by the judicial panel that found it unconstitutional
- whose Democratic chairperson resigned over the weekend over allegations of partisanship
- that is responsible for investigating serious, credible allegations of election fraud (NOT voter fraud; voters were the victims, not the perpetrators of the alleged illegal activity) in a close US Congressional race that they have not certified and is drawing national attention
- in which one of the alleged major players has a criminal record of felony fraud and has been involved in other questionable activities in previous elections
- while the illegally-constituted and gerrymandered NCGA is rushing through the details and timeline of voter photo ID:
- without evidence of in-person impersonation voter fraud
- in lame duck session
- before they lose their veto-proof supermajority in January
- because NC voters elected more Democrats to represent them
- which will do NOTHING to address the type of serious election tampering being investigated
- but WILL make it harder for eligible citizens without current drivers licenses to vote
- and WILL cost taxpayers a bunch of money that will magically appear from somewhere (aka, public education and other state services).
Got that? Sound like a big mess in some scandal-plagued banana republic (no offense intended to bananas)? Yep! Stay tuned, these stories aren't over by a long shot...