RALEIGH – On Saturday night a Federal Judge told the Democrats on the N.C. State Board of Elections that their collusive slight of hand in settling a lawsuit and effectively changing the law via memo was not going to stand. Federal Judge James Dever has blocked the collusive agreement until October 16, while also transferring the case back to Judge William Osteen, who made the original ruling the Democrats used as a Trojan Horse to loosen absentee ballot rules.
Judge Dever concluded that the lawsuit settlement changes, which spurred the resignations of two Republican Board members, essentially usurp the constitutional powers of the General Assembly to write new law. Dever said the agreement would “eliminate the statutory witness requirement, change the statutory dates and method by which absentee ballots are accepted, and change the statutory scheme as to who can deliver absentee ballots.”
Of course, just a day before, Attorney General Josh Stein was thanking activist N.C. Judge Bryan Collins for rubber-stamping the changes as an honest attempt to facilitate easier voting. Well, eliminating witness requirements and rewriting law with partisan memoranda may facilitate ‘more’ voting, but it runs afoul of the constitution and creates an untenable amount of confusion and chaos being that we’re midstream into an election already.
“The NCSBOE inequitably and materially upset the electoral status quo in the middle of an election by issuing the memoranda and giving the memoranda legal effect. The memoranda, by materially changing the electoral process in the middle of an election after over 300,000 people have voted, undermines that confidence and creates confusion,” said Judge James Dever.
What’s more, is Judge Dever has transferred the case back to Judge William Osteen, who originally directed the BOE to offer more ‘cures’ for some ballot situations. Osteen was less than pleased, it seemed, when he learned of the collusive agreement between a gaggle of connected partisan Democrats that abused the spirit of his order.
He asserted his order did not provide for the effective elimination of the witness requirement, yet that is one of the principal effects of the agreement along with pushing out the ballot acceptance date by several days.
Now Judge Osteen will be able to reiterate that again, and election integrity is conserved to the extent possible. Which, with over 1.1 million absentee ballots were requested for this election, is a good thing.