Election Board’s Ongoing War Against Observers | Eastern North Carolina Now | The North Carolina State Board of Elections has tried to restrict election observers several times over the past two years.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Dr. Andy Jackson.

    I recently spoke to about two dozen people at Liberty First of Wayne County and stayed as they moved to the business portion of the meeting. They mainly talked about preparing to serve as election observers (known as poll watchers in some states). Under North Carolina law, observers are appointed by their parties to watch the voting process at early voting sites and election day precinct polling places and report any irregularities they find. They are an essential part of ensuring transparency in our elections.

    Observer Groups Emphasize Orderliness

    The group's leader emphasized that election observers are there to "observe and report" and that they should only speak to the chief judge at the voting site. They also went over some of the particularities of observing in Wayne County.

    I heard a similar message about properly conducting election observation at a summit of the North Carolina Election Integrity Team (NCEIT, pronounced "insight") last spring:

    And, of course, the summit included election observer training. Participants learned how volunteers in the 2021 election in Virginia politely but firmly held elections officials accountable and how the "Virginia model" can be applied in North Carolina and elsewhere. Participants also practiced skits and various scenarios that observers have encountered, such as dealing with aggressive poll workers.

    State Elections Board Seeks to Suppress Observers

    In a recent media release, the North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) stated, "Party-appointed election observers play an important role in the elections process." Their conduct towards observers does not reflect that statement, however.

    Earlier this year, the SBE attempted to make several changes to regulations that would have limited the ability of observers to perform their duties. The changes were rejected by the Rules Review Commission at their August 25 meeting.

    The SBE said in a media release that the proposed changes became necessary in light of information from "dozens" of local election officials who "shared their recent experiences with election observers." However, that attempt was just the latest round in a series of SBE moves against observers.

    In 2021, the SBE attempted to illegally limit the number of observers per day at early voting sites and election day polling places to two. North Carolina law sets the limit at two every four hours, which means six per day during most days of early voting and eight per day at polling places on election day. They gave up the attempt only after overwhelming public testimony against it, including the threat of lawsuits.

    Incredibly, that was not the first time the SBE tried illegally limiting the number of election observers. They previously suppressed the number of observers during the 2020 election without going through the formality of changing the regulations. It took intervention from the Trump campaign to make them reverse course:

    County election boards followed (SBE General Counsel Katelyn) Love's policy until she received pushback from Heather Ford, an attorney hired by the Trump campaign. At one point, Ford called Love and "finally had to read the law aloud to Love in order to sway her." She finally relented under that pressure and, on October 29, 2020, issued new guidance that followed the law on election observers, but which was too late for the early voting period.

    No matter what happens during the 2022 election, there is little reason to believe that the SBE will stop its campaign to limit election observers.
Go Back


Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )




Joe Biden was 'complicit in 6 alleged white collar crimes' Statewide, John Locke Foundation Guest Editorial, Editorials, Government, Op-Ed & Politics, State and Federal ‘Dilbert’ creator Scott Adams was right


HbAD0

Latest State and Federal

In a dramatic ruling issued just days before midterm elections, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling and ordered the transfer of millions of dollars to pay for a school improvement plan designed to ensure North Carolina’s school children receive a sound basic education
Witnesses say StackedPAC gave items in exchange for voting. The group is not legally registered to operate in North Carolina.
Please find attached the Voter History Statistical and Vote Totals by Precinct for November 8th, 2022.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released an updated North Carolina Dental Opioid Action Plan to provide clear steps and solutions for dentists and their staff, patients, families and communities to address the opioid epidemic.
Groups linked to North Carolina's travel and tourism industry are jumping into an occupancy tax case involving Currituck County.

HbAD1

N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein says a challenged state election law "threatens to chill speech at the heart of our democratic process." Stein wants federal courts to declare the law unconstitutional.
Sheetz offering lower prices on unleaded 88 gas until November 28 as a benefit to those in need
N.C. State Treasurer Dale Folwell discussed issues surrounding several towns in the state Tuesday during his monthly “Ask Me Anything” virtual press conference.
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, North Carolina’s Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper held a press conference at the Executive Mansion announcing the creation of a new commission tasked with reforming the University of North Carolina System’s governance.
On October 31, I listened to five hours of oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in SFFA v. UNC and SFFA v Harvard. Since I doubt many readers had the patience to do that, I’m sharing some of the highlights here.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard more than 2 1/2 hours of oral argument Monday in a case challenging race-based admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill.

HbAD2

The Civitas Poll of parents found that parents want controversial books reviewed by committees and objectionable books removed from elementary schools

HbAD3

 
Back to Top