Civitas has placed an official public records request for the emails, travel logs, etc. for an elections board official who apparently advised the public how to commit voter fraud.
And we are asking the public to keep an eye on other such officials who are scheduled to speak the public soon.
The State Board of Elections (SBE) issued a news release (see below) yesterday to announce that Dr. E. Lee Cooley has been placed on paid leave while the board conducts a “thorough review” of statements she made at a recent voter outreach meeting. The review stems from the Civitas report published yesterday morning detailing remarks made by Dr. Cooley that seemed to give a green light to voter fraud.
Cooley, a voter outreach specialist, has been employed by the SBE since June 2015 and has been traveling North Carolina speaking to voters and election workers about election law and processes. What Cooley ended up doing was to give explicit instructions on how citizens can actively commit voter fraud. She told the audience that it was perfectly fine for someone to vote another persons ballot and that workers and owners of healthcare facilities to help voters cast a ballot – both major infractions of the law!
The Civitas article, State Elections Expert is Wrong on Voting Law, includes an audio recording of one of the two seminars in Pasquotank County where Cooley played fast and loose with North Carolina election law. Here is just one of the excerpts from the audio:
Cooley: “…. and these are persons who have an interest in that homeless person. So that ballot can go to that near relative who can vote that ballot, in a manner that is in the best interest of that homeless person.”
The SBE seems to be taking this problem seriously. Its news release indicated the SBE was in “communication with outside investigators to ensure public confidence in its review.” Kim Strach, the SBE’s executive director, said, “Providing accurate information about elections to the public is at the heart of what we do.”
While Civitas doesn’t know what outside agency the SBE is referring to, we will do our best to find out. After releasing the report yesterday morning, we made an official public records request, asking for Cooley’s emails, travel logs, expense reports, etc.
It is encouraging to see that one mainstream media outlet picked up this story. The Associated Press seems to understand the serious consequences of communicating inaccurate information to the electorate. Citizens and even local elections officials believe what they hear or may even be afraid to question what they hear from a person of authority, especially someone representing the State Board of Elections.
Although Cooley has been placed on leave, there are two more voter outreach specialists employed by the SBE who will be traveling the state “educating” citizens as to North Carolina’s election laws. If you live in, or close to one of these counties, please consider attending the sessions.
If you do attend, let us hear from you. It may be helpful to listen to the audio of Dr. Cooley’s last seminar before you go. The recording can be found in the original article at this link. State Elections Expert is Wrong on Voting Law
Greene County (today)
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today (Thursday)
Greene County Board of Elections Voter Education Seminar
Senior Center – 104 Greenridge Road, Snow Hill
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 (WEATHER PERMITTING)
Wilson Community Voter Education Forum
Wilson County Library
249 Nash St, NW, Wilson
Click on the news release for a better view:
Carlos Monte Verde says
Thank you for your informative report! It is shocking the State Board of Elections would employ someone who is misleading voters and encouraging people to vote in the names of other people! I’m glad the State of North Carolina has at least one investigative reporter. You should win a Pulitzer for your report!
Mc Edgerton says
This is much bigger “news” than even the approaching hurricane — how sad is the commentary that an atmosphere of fraud is acceptable and even “promoted” by our State Board of Elections. Very sad.