NC Senators File Bill Requiring Absentee Ballots Returned by Election Day, Bans Out of State Funding for Boards of Elections

RALEIGH – Three North Carolina Senators have filed legislation to tighten up on election integrity after the most contentious and concerning election season in memory, exacerbated by exploitative Pandemic Panic changes to election rules, puts the issue at the top of many NC voters priority list.

Republican Sens. Warren Daniel, Paul Newton, and Ralph Hise filed on Thurday Senate Bill 326, The Election Integrity Act, to require, among other provisions, that absentee ballots must be returned by election day. Acceptance dates for absentee ballots were changed by the NC State Board of Elections, effectively changing the law without legislative approval or involvement. The moves sparked resignations and lawsuits, but the extended acceptance dates remained.

More pointedly, the legislation prohibits elections boards from accepting private monetary donations for certain purposes, or from out of state entities.

Notably, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg donated up to $350 million to elections boards across the country for under the auspices of COVID relief and funding for elections operations. Millions landed right here in North Carolina. Senate Bill 326 would ban such private financing of elections.

It’s no insignificant issue, either. Zuckerberg gave $1 million in grant money to the partisan NC State Board of Elections and, through a Chicago non-profit, funneled another $4.3 million in ‘Zuck Bucks’ to the Old North State.

According to Hayden Ludwig of Capital Research, the money went to dozens of cities across North Carolina and served to pump turn out in Biden corridors:

“CTCL gave grants to at least 34 cities and counties in North Carolina, according to an online list of “preliminary” grants, although the specific grant amounts aren’t detailed.

    • Joe Biden won 26 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, accounting for 65 percent of his overall votes in the state and containing just over half its entire population.
    • Of the 26 counties Biden won, CTCL funded 9. These 9 counties alone provided Biden with over 908,000 votes, or roughly one-third of all his votes in North Carolina. […]
    • Key Biden gains were concentrated in CTCL-funded counties that Clinton won in 2016: Greensboro in Guilford County (25,857 votes, a 17 percent increase), Durham in Durham County (25,905 votes, a 22 percent increase), Asheville in Buncombe County (21,578 votes, a 29 percent increase), and Raleigh in Wake County (94,983, a 32 percent increase). In only one of these heavily populated counties, Wake, did Trump’s improvement over 2016 exceed 10,000 votes.
    • Wake County, CTCL’s most richly funded county and the largest in the state, received $2.83 for every Biden vote, or $0.90 cents for every person living there. Wake County is a Democratic stronghold, earning Biden more than 393,000 votes—his largest grab in the state and over 167,000 votes more than Trump earned there.
    • Biden’s most impressive gains over 2016 Democratic turnout were also in Wake County: A whopping 94,983 additional votes—a 32 percent increase over Clinton’s figures. Biden netted over 393,000 votes in a county that contains 1.1 million, or 35 percent of its entire population. (Trump, who lost Wake in 2016, gained only another 32,590 votes in the county.)
    • Elections officials in CTCL’s second-most richly funded county, Durham, received $4.56 for every man, woman, and child living there. Durham County broke heavily for Biden: nearly 145,000 votes, almost 4.5 times as many as Trump won (32,000). That’s nearly $10.14 for every Biden vote in the county.[…]”

Beyond tightening up request and return acceptance dates for absentee ballots, and prohibiting activist financing of local elections, the legislation would also launch a mobile Voter ID unit to identify and assist voters in obtaining sufficient identification.

Recent polls have shown a strong majority of North Carolinians support voter ID, which is hardly surprising considering the People approved an amendment to the N.C. Constitution requiring such. Still, activist judges and aggressive Democrats have continued to demonize Voter ID, as well as these sorely needed election integrity measures, as voter suppression motivated by racism (of course).

The juxtaposition will pit strong public concern over the issue and a responsive Republican legislative majority, against a partisan Democrat in the Governor’s Mansion with just enough veto power to slander Republicans and pander to the Left while pretending the issue doesn’t exist.

You can see the foreshocks of this political reality in statements from Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue (D-Wake):

That is the dichotomy Democrats wish to draw, as false as it is. The simple truth is that this bill, amid the most pronounced distrust in elections in living memory, would require everyone to cast their vote on or before election day.

After 2020 elections dragged on for days, weeks, months with outrageously extended deadlines and enough to funny business to shake a stick at, the Election Integrity Act is as common sense as it is necessary to restore faith in the integrity of our elections.

follow the bill’s progress here.

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