Shortly after hundreds of cases of voter fraud were uncovered in the Tar Heel State, North Carolina legislators overrode a veto of a bill that would reform the state’s elections process by reworking the voting board.
Senate Bill 68 would combine the state’s elections and ethics boards and split the seats between Republicans and Democrats evenly, while letting the governor choose members from lists given to him by each party. The state Senate voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto on Monday night, which now sends the bill to the state House for a final vote.
Cooper, who replaced Republican Pat McCrory in the hotly contested gubernatorial race in November, has claimed that he rejected the measure because it would lead to “gridlock” and was a rehashing of provisions stricken down by judicial fiat last year, according to a story at the Raleigh-based News & Observer.
Cooper stands to lose a lot from the proposed setup, as he currently is in control of the elections board. Under the new bill, he would not be able to halt fraud prevention measures like curtailing early voting hours, which a federal court struck down last year under the cover of the Voting Rights Act.
“It is ironic that Gov. Cooper lectured the legislature about pursuing ‘partisan power grabs’ when he vetoed a bill creating a bipartisan board to ensure our ethics and elections laws are enforced fairly — and for no other reason than to strengthen his own political advantage,” Sen. Bill Rabon, R, said in a statement reported by the paper. “I am confident this change — which actually answers the court’s call to let the governor make all appointments to that board — is a step in the right direction for North Carolina.”
Under the move, Cooper and company — who currently enjoy a mandated majority on the board — would be unable to rescind measures passed by McCrory, like limited early voting hours and moving polling places.
That does it: NC GOP legislators overrode Dem Gov. Cooper's veto of a bill that will prevent Dems from reversing past GOP voter suppression https://t.co/OTbDmToEYf— Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) April 25, 2017
Of course, opponents of such measures — including federal judges — initially enacted by McCrory love to tout the narrative that these measures are “voter suppression,” based on the assertion that things like requiring IDs and requiring people to vote at polling places on election day is racist. Rather, this is fraud suppression, allowing poll workers to better verify voters.
Some of these claims were comically addressed in a video made by documentarian Ami Horowitz last year:
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, it was reported that no fewer than 508 cases of voter fraud occurred in North Carolina elections during the 2016 cycle.
A post-election audit report released last week by the current North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) revealed the illegal votes, according to the Washington Examiner. The fraud included felon and non-citizen votes, voter impersonation, double voting, and problems with mail-in absentee ballots.
"In late January 2017, NCSBE sent letters to suspected felon voters identified through data audits, notifying recipients that they may have illegally voted and their registrations would be canceled in 30 days unless they objected in writing and presented evidence that they are not active felons," the audit reads. "Currently, 441 files of suspected felon voters remain open after an initial screening and contacts or attempted contacts with the voters."
These measures are all constitutionally granted to the states and are up to the voters of those states to determine — despite the best efforts of federal judges. The people of North Carolina, through their duly elected representatives, have determined to keep a Democrat from obfuscating fraud prevention in the state’s elections, and recent findings would suggest that they have ample reason to do so.
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