By: NC Senator Brent Jackson
Rewriting election laws right in the middle of an election is outrageous and irresponsible, but that is exactly what the State Board of Elections wants to do in North Carolina. Following the voter fraud that occurred in 2018, strong security measures with bipartisan support were put into place to keep our elections free and fair. However, a lawsuit “settlement” has become the vehicle for state and national Democrats to open the floodgates for ballot fraud.
North Carolina has some of the most accessible elections in the country with absentee ballots mailed out earlier than any other state. Early voting ensures voter choice when not everyone can vote on Election Day. And the people of North Carolina voted to implement common sense Voter ID to protect our elections against vote theft. But now, Governor Cooper’s stranglehold on the election process is putting too much power in the hands of one person who is himself running for re-election.
Unsupervised outdoor drop boxes at polling places are established by this consent order, allowing anyone to drop off a ballot without a trace. State law forbids anyone who is not the voter or a close family member from submitting these ballots, but the order says, “a county board may not disapprove a ballot solely because it is placed in a drop box.” Sign-in logs were instrumental in catching the fraud that occurred in 2018, but now that tool is being circumvented.
Witnesses are effectively eliminated as a requirement for an absentee ballot. Normally, a witness must sign the document and include their full address in addition to the voter’s signature. After the change, if a “voter” submits a ballot with only a voter signature and no witness, the Board of Elections will just send the person another document (with no witness signature required) to be returned as many as nine days after Election Day.
There is also a state law that requires absentee ballots to be received no later than three days after Election Day. This is to allow for a timely vote count and eliminate the possibility of large clusters of ballots being “found” that could swing an election after the voting has concluded. But the consent order again undermines that law, providing nine full days after the election to receive ballots.
This is just another demonstration of how Governor Cooper, the Attorney General, and the Board of Elections are playing politics with our elections. It is imperative, now more than ever, that we protect the sanctity of the electoral process for the sake of every citizen who wants their voice to be heard this November.
Senator Jackson (R) represents NC Senate District 10, which includes Johnston, Duplin and Sampson counties.