RALEIGH – Voting by mail via absentee ballots carries quite a few more risks than voting in person, for obvious reasons. One of those risks is fraud, and another is that people simply do not follow the rules in place to promote integrity in the absentee voting process.
The latter risk becomes starts to resemble the former, though, when those rules are explicitly ignored. No; not by ballot harvesters on the ground or careless voters, but by the STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS ITSELF.
The NCSBE is telling local county boards of elections to accept ballots that were transmitted illegally. Sure, why not? Why have any rules at all?!
“By state law (GS 163-231(b)(1)), absentee ballots can only be “transmitted by mail or by commercial courier service, at the voter’s expense, or delivered in person, or by the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian.” To comply with that law, county boards are required to get the name, address, phone number, and relationship with the voter of any person hand-delivering a ballot in a logbook.
So, what should local election officials do if somebody comes in with absentee ballot container envelopes, plops them on the counter, and rushes out the door without identifying himself? […]”
Hmmmm. So by the letter of the law, it would seem that the local election officials should not presume those ballots eligible until they call the voters to confirm they were transmitted in the proper way. They do this when other problems arise with absentee ballots, of course, so it’d only make sense to do that here, confirm, and then accept the ballots.
Well, Governor Roy Cooper’s State Board of Elections “ain’t got time for that” apparently. Taylor continues:
“On August 21, State Board of Elections (SBE) Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell issued a memo to county boards of elections on the absentee voting process. There are a couple of deficiencies with the memo. Today, I will focus on a problem found on page five:
“Failure to comply with the logging requirement, or delivery of an absentee ballot by a person other than the voter, the voter’s near relative, or the voter’s legal guardian, is not sufficient evidence in and of itself to establish that the voter did not lawfully vote their ballot. A county board shall not disapprove an absentee ballot solely because it was delivered by someone who was not authorized to possess the ballot. The county board may, however, consider the delivery of a ballot in accordance with the rule, 08 NCAC 18 .0102, in conjunction with other evidence in determining whether the container-return envelope has been properly executed.
[…] However, the memo does not instruct county election officials about how they might get evidence to support that ballots were delivered legally. It does not even instruct them to contact the voters, as election board workers are instructed to do when there are other problems with their absentee ballot container. Instead, they must just assume that ballots were delivered by the voter or a near relative.
Even worse, Brinson Bell instructs election officials to accept ballots that they know were transmitted “by someone who was not authorized to possess the ballot.””
Who needs laws, when we have Karen Brinson Bell?
She certainly doesn’t need them, apparently, because she is expressly instructing local boards to accept ballots they know are illegal by illegal transmission.
We literally just had a giant scandalous saga in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, the epicenter of which was this very issue of illegally harvested absentee ballots.
Democrats howled as loud as they could as the case was investigated, the results nullified, and a new election called. They did so because it damaged a Republican’s chances for holding that seat. Now Democrats are literally directing local boards to…accept illegally harvested ballots.
YOU. CAN’T. MAKE. THIS. STUFF. UP.
Read the rest of Any Taylor’s piece here, and then call your county board of elections and ask them what they’re doing to ensure illegal transmission and ballot harvesting is guarded against in this election.