Federal Judge Fact Checks Josh Stein and Cooper’s NCSBE Director for Flagrantly Misrepresenting His Orders | Beaufort County Now | The judge in the case of the State Board of Elections has handed Attorney General Josh Stein, Governor Roy Cooper and the State Board of Elections and staff a resounding rebuke. | NCGOP, federal judge, election board, board of elections, overrule, statutory witness, mail-in ballots, october 1, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Federal Judge Fact Checks Josh Stein and Cooper’s NCSBE Director for Flagrantly Misrepresenting His Orders

Press Release:

    Raleigh, NC     Federal District Judge William Osteen Jr. of the Middle District of North Carolina issued an order demolishing the fallacious legal argument of Attorney General Josh Stein and Cooper's handpicked NCSBE Executive Director, Karen Brinson Bell. Judge Osteen takes issue at the Board's brazen attempt to use his court's order as the basis to eliminate the statutory witness requirement for absentee ballots.

    "This order from Judge Osteen confirms that Attorney General Josh Stein and Gov. Cooper's Executive Director Bell ignored duly enacted North Carolina election law in an attempt to change absentee ballot protections after voting has already begun," said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley.

    "Earlier this week, Bell threatened to remove county election board members if they didn't follow her orders to subvert the witness requirement," said NCGOP Press Secretary Tim Wigginton. "Judge Osteen's order confirms the NCGOP's stance. Bell's memo to county boards implementing the collusive Democrat settlement is contrary to North Carolina law and invalid."

    Here are some key excerpts from the order which can be read in full HERE.

    "It appears to this court that Memo 2020-19 issued by the North Carolina State Board of Elections may be reasonably interpreted to eliminate the one-witness requirement under the guise of compliance with this court's order. This court finds a status conference is necessary in light of this court's present concern that alleged compliance with this court's order is resulting in elimination of a duly-enacted statute requiring a witness to an absentee ballot."

    "Furthermore, this court's order cannot in any way be construed to permit a missing witness signature to be cured by "sending the voter a certification," as indicated by Memo 2020-19."

    "Notwithstanding the fact this court upheld the one-witness requirement and limited the due process remedy to those defects which were subject to remediation, it now appears that on September 22, 2020, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has eliminated the one-witness requirement under the guise of compliance with this court's order."

    "The cure process described in Memo 2020-19 permits a voter to cast an absentee by mail ballot as late as November 12, after the election, without a witness signature as required by HB 1169."

    "This court does not find Memo 2020-19 "consistent with the Order entered by this Court on August 4, 2020," (Doc. 143 at 1), and, to the degree this court's order was used as a basis to eliminate the one-witness requirement, this court finds such an interpretation unacceptable."

    "In view of the foregoing, this court finds a status conference is necessary. The Clerk is directed to set this matter for a status conference, in person, at the earliest possible date and time available. At the conference, the court will inquire of Executive Defendants as follows:"

  1. Whether this court's interpretation of the Notice of Filing, (Doc. 143), and Memo 2020-19 (Doc. 143-1), is correct or incorrect; and
  2. Whether this court's order, (Doc. 124), was used or asserted as a basis for a revision of election procedure on September 22, 2020, to allow submission of an absentee by mail ballot without a witness signature; and if so,
  3. What action or relief is necessary from this court to address any improper application of the terms and conditions of this court's preliminary injunction order. This the 30th day of September, 2020.

  • Contact: Tim Wigginton
  •     communications@ncgop.org


Latest Bloodless Warfare: Politics

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley released the following statement in response to the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives
In 2021, county boards of elections across North Carolina will conduct several important and required processes designed to keep the state’s voter rolls accurate and up to date.
Governor Roy Cooper has mobilized approximately 550 North Carolina National Guardsmen to assist with upcoming security needs in Washington, DC and North Carolina.
Governor Roy Cooper has named retired Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin to lead the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
State Representative Keith Kidwell was officially sworn-in and seated on the House floor today to serve the people of House District 79, which includes Beaufort and Craven counties.
Governor Roy Cooper today announced two judicial appointments, one to the North Carolina Superior Court and one to the North Carolina District Court.
Transitions are a time for reflection, and a time for looking forward.
The Governor commended North Carolinians for their resiliency over the past four years, discussed moving forward as a unified state in Inaugural address


The front yard of the Executive Mansion was transformed into an outdoor sound stage for the ceremony.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced new appointments to boards and commissions across North Carolina.
The Governor and Council of State will take their oaths of office in a program on January 9th at 10AM
Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) released the following statement after being officially sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives for the 117th Congress.
Governor Roy Cooper today commented after a state Court of Appeals ruling in the M.E. v T.J. case that concerns whether individuals in a same-sex relationship can use Domestic Violence Protection Orders under state law to protect themselves from abusive partners.


Back to Top