Here is another story about absentee ballot irregularities, this time in Lincoln County.
Does anyone else remember during the 2011 Legislature’s voter ID debate, the liberal voices declaring that voter ID isn’t needed because people do not commit voter fraud by impersonation and that the real fraud takes place in absentee ballots? I thought these statements were odd at the time because I was unaware of much (if any) voter fraud taking place using the absentee ballot system in North Carolina.
But now, I have to ask the question; what came first, the declarations by the liberal-left in the first half of 2011, that real voter fraud was found only in absentee ballots or their decision to initiate a get-out-the-vote program using absentee ballots in November 2011? It is even more interesting knowing that they have have never engaged in an absentee (by mail) voting effort before this year.
Wake, Pasquotank and now Lincoln counties all have reported possible voter fraud using absentee ballots.
Wake and Lincoln have referred some of their cases to their District Attorneys’ offices. It is disconcerting to know that the State Board of Elections has played a role in the problems with absentee ballots this year too.
In an earlier article, “SBOE Flip Flops on Absentee Ballot Request” I wrote about how the State Board of Elections approved a ballot request form submitted by Bob Hall of Democracy NC, the liberal advocacy group that subsequently drove the get-out-the-efforts for the Democrats running in the Wake County School Board in October and November of this year. Johnnie McLean, Deputy Director of the State Board of Elections, approved Bob Hall’s request form until the Wake County GOP submitted a similar form and Ms. McLean denied the GOP’s request. Only after the Wake County Board of Elections Director Cherie Poucher questioned Ms. McLean did she quietly reverse her initial decision approving Bob Hall’s request form.
On a personal note, one of the most interesting revelations in this article comes from the following paragraphs.
During a hearing on those protests Friday, the Lincoln County Board of Elections ruled that there was insufficient evidence that more than one person filled out the ballots being protested. It’s this ruling that is now being appealed to the state.
Correspondence from an elections office staff to the state board shows that the same concerns were raised in advance of the election, but the staff member was told she wasn’t a handwriting expert.
It sounds like board of elections staff in Lincoln County were concerned that signatures on envelopes containing the voters’ ballots did not match the signatures in the voters’ file. You see, when I worked for the Wake County Board of Elections, I too was told by the State Board of Elections that I was not a handwriting expert when I questioned a signature that didn’t match one that we had on file.
The General Election of 2012 is going to be contentious no matter who finally gets on the ticket. We must have laws and rules that are applied justly. I believe the North Carolina State Board of Elections has shown it is incapable of conducting its business, which includes conducting fair, honest elections, in a way that will give the citizens North Carolina confidence they have participated in a fair election.