Does North Carolina Need Medical Marijuana

In the past, my objection to medical marijuana has been based on the abuses I have seen in other states. Before California legalized recreational use of marijuana and after California legalized medical marijuana, the last four or five pages on the newspapers in California were filled with advertisements from doctors who were willing to prescribe marijuana for pretty much anything from dandruff to a hangnail. The medical marijuana clinics were simply supporting the recreational uses by placing a very thin veneer over the recreational use of the drug. Now, some other problems with marijuana are coming to light. Even as we learn that marijuana has some valid medical uses, we need to look at the downside of legalizing medical marijuana.

On Wednesday, The Carolina Journal posted an article that contained some warnings about legalizing medical marijuana.

The article reports:

Dr. Christian Thurstone, director of behavioral health at Denver Health and professor of psychiatry at University of Colorado, held a media event in October warning North Carolinians not to repeat Colorado’s mistakes surrounding medical marijuana. He was invited to speak by the Triangle Christian Medical and Dental Associations in reaction to N.C. Senate Bill 711, the N.C. Compassionate Care Act.

The bill passed the state Senate 36-7 on third reading in June but did not move in the state House before session ended. A similar bill is likely to be introduced next session and could be considered in 2023.

Thurstone spoke for about 45 minutes and then gave those attending a chance to ask questions.

Thurstone’s main criticisms were that SB 711 allows marijuana in any form for patients, including powerful food products; allows marijuana as a treatment for too many conditions; allows for more than one caregiver to handle the drug; spreads distribution throughout the state, so counties don’t have the option of opting out like they do in Colorado; permits distributors to own more than one center, which led to commercialization of the marijuana business elsewhere; and allows those under 18 to receive marijuana if they have a signature from guardian without specifying safeguards to prevent forgery of signatures.

He said, “This bill is about creating an industry,” and is less about creating a compassionate new form of treatment available.

…Thurstone went through a number of slides showing data about the immediate but temporary bump in those under 18 using marijuana after their bill passed and the more sustained increase of those 18-25 using marijuana (which is now at 32% compared to 23% in the U.S. overall).

Later he spoke about the boom in new powerful products like gummies and drinks that were legally available and advertised. Many of these products and strains have 20-30% THC, which is 10 times stronger than traditional marijuana which had 2% or 3% THC.

The “concerns” section of the speech was subtitled “cars and kids,” as those were the two main areas he said N.C. should keep in mind. For cars, he mentioned a spike in traffic accidents where the driver tested positive for marijuana, rising from 9% in 2009 to 21% in 2019 in Colorado. And despite jokes that high drivers are better because they drive slower, he said the evidence shows they have twice the risk of car accidents, due to difficulty staying in lane, slower reaction times, more weaving, and worse attention and distractibility scores.

Medical marijuana is not compassionate. It creates more problems than it solves. The explosion of vape shops in the state in recent years has as much to do with the increase in vaping as it does the idea that when marijuana becomes legal for medical use (and then for recreational use, which will follow), the shops will already be in place.

Make no mistake–medical marijuana will follow a path very similar to Oxycontin–it may begin well, but it will not end well.

Follow The Money

Abortion may become the cigarette smoking issue of the 2020’s (see article here). Obviously, Planned Parenthood will do everything possible to prevent that from happening–abortion is where they make their money. On Thursday, The Conservative Review posted an article about one of Planned Parenthood’s moves to protect their income source.

The article reports:

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood announced its plan to invest $5 million in the North Carolina midterm elections to back pro-abortion Democrat nominees.

Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina aim to use the funds for ads, mailings, phone banks, and canvassing in 14 legislative swing districts.

Deputy director of Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina Emily Thompson stressed that the organization’s goal is to prevent a Republican supermajority in the general assembly. She said that the campaign is focusing recourses on five Senate races.

“If we don’t elect reproductive rights champions in five key state Senate races, an anti-abortion supermajority will have the votes to ban abortion in North Carolina,” Thompson stated. “And if we don’t defend two critical North Carolina Supreme Court seats, we will lose our last line of defense against restrictive state laws designed to rob us of our right to make our own health care decisions.”

The wording here is important. No one is robbing anyone of the right to make their own health care decisions. If you don’t want to have a child, don’t engage in the activities that cause pregnancy. It’s that simple. No one is forcing you to get pregnant. What the limits on abortions are doing is protecting the life of the unborn. When abortion was made legal in January 1973, medical science did not have the knowledge of unborn development that they have now. Now it is possible to keep a baby born months early alive with minimal negative consequences. In 1973, an early birth often resulted in permanent negative health issues.

I have seen the ads for the Supreme Court seats on television. The ads promote the fear of losing women’s rights to health care. What about the baby’s right to health care? It is time to look at the scientific advancements made regarding unborn babies and base our decisions on current information. It is a child from the time it is conceived, so the question is, “Do we want to be a culture that says it is okay to kill a child?”

An Interesting Turn Of Events

North Carolina residents have voted for some form of voter ID twice. Both times the courts have overturned the will of the people. The second time we voted for voter ID, the vote was for an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would require voter ID. The court struck that amendment down as unconstitutional. Wow. Well, on Tuesday there was some good news about the citizens of North Carolina’s quest for voter ID.

On Tuesday, The Carolina Journal reported the following:

North Carolina’s 2018 voter ID law complies with the state constitution and should survive a legal challenge. That’s according to briefs submitted in the N.C. Supreme Court from state legislative leaders and the N.C. Justice Department.

Both briefs urge the Supreme Court to reverse a trial court’s 2-1 ruling from September 2021 in the case titled Holmes v. Moore. Two Democratic judges overruled a Republican colleague in deciding that the law, originally Senate Bill 824, violated the N.C. Constitution.

“Election legislation in North Carolina is often contentious,” wrote attorney Nicole Moss, representing Republican state legislative leaders. “In the fall of 2018, the People of North Carolina — by a 55.49% to 44.51% margin — adopted a constitutional amendment requiring photo voter ID and directing the General Assembly to enact implementing legislation.”

“The General Assembly at that time could have enacted a voter-ID law without any Democratic votes or any Democratic input whatsoever,” wrote Moss, referencing Republicans’ veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly in 2018. “But that is not what the General Assembly did with S.B. 824. Instead, the Republican supermajority worked closely with Senator Joel Ford, an African American Democrat, who co-sponsored the bill; adopted the majority of amendments offered by Democrats; obtained several Democratic votes for the bill; and otherwise engaged with Democrats every step of the way, garnering thanks even from the bill’s opponents.”

The article notes:

The state’s brief also criticizes the trial court. “Contrary to what Plaintiffs contend in their brief, throughout the trial court majority’s analysis in this case, it shifted the burden of proof to Defendants and failed to adhere to the presumption of legislative good faith,” Steed wrote.

Nothing presented during a trial showed that the ID law would block any eligible votes. “Plaintiffs failed to establish any of the Plaintiffs would be unable to vote under S.B. 824, and in fact, the evidence at trial showed they would have multiple ways to vote under S.B. 824,” Steed added. “Even more telling, … they have never identified a form of ID, or any combination of IDs for that matter, which would create a lesser disparate impact than S.B. 824.”

“In Plaintiff’s view, no form of a voter ID law, no matter how ameliorative, would ever be acceptable to them. This evinces a fundamental flaw with Plaintiffs’ position, given the legislature is under a constitutional mandate to pass a voter-ID law.”

Voter ID will not solve all of our voter integrity problems, but it is a step in the right direction.

When The Courts Play Politics

We need to remember that the U.S. Constitution gives the responsibility of setting the manner of holding congressional elections to the state legislators. That responsibility includes redistricting based on the census. In North Carolina the courts decided that the map of the districts provided by the Republican-led legislature were not acceptable. Then the court appointed three “special masters” to inspect the map and make corrections. That in itself is questionable, but they did it. The redrawn maps do not reflect the political demographic of the state–they represent a serious effort to gerrymander the districts in favor of the Democrats.

The Carolina Journal reported the following on Friday:

Gerrymanders are not always apparent when looking at a map, but the special masters’ gerrymander is clearest when looking at two parts of the state. The first and most obvious is that they cleaved Charlotte in half, grafting one-half of the city to suburbs in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties and the other half to Gaston County. That move violated two basic redistricting principles by not creating a congressional district that is wholly contained in Mecklenburg County and by dividing clear communities of interest.

The special masters could have easily preserved communities of interest by drawing central Charlotte in one districting and linking suburban communities of Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, and Gaston Counties. In doing so, they would have created one safe Democratic district and one relatively competitive Democratic-leaning district. Instead, they made two safe Democratic districts by unnecessarily grafting urban and suburban areas in both districts.

State Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) has already expressed interest in running in the new safely Democratic 14th District. Bob Orr, the so-called “unaffiliated” special master appointed by the trial court in the redistricting case, is a fan of Jackson’s. According to Federal Election Commission records, he donated to Jackson’s campaign committee in 2021. In recent years, the “unaffiliated” special master has also donated to other Democratic candidates such as Joe Biden and Dan McCready.

The special masters also gerrymandered the Wake County districts. They split southeastern Raleigh from the rest of the city to put it in the 13th District. Splitting was unnecessary; the special masters could have easily kept Raleigh whole by adding rural and suburban eastern Wake County to the 13th.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Unfortunately, this is what happens when a partisan court oversteps its bounds. When we lived in Massachusetts, our voting district was shaped like a sea horse in order to dilute the Republican votes of a conservative area. Gerrymandering, unfortunately, is a way of life in America. However, it should not be done by supposedly neutral courts.

Robin Sage

On Saturday, The Western Journal posted an article about a military training exercise planned for later this month in North and South Carolina. There are some aspects of this exercise that are troubling to me and possibly troubling to other Americans.

The article reports:

Residents of 28 counties in North and South Carolina will be hearing a lot of gunfire later this month as the army plans a major training exercise.

The Robin Sage training exercise is a final test for those wanting to join America’s Special Forces, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer published online by MSN.

From Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, the soldiers wanting to join the Special Forces will be fighting against so-called freedom fighters.

The exercise covers privately owned land in the North Carolina counties of Alamance, Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Union, and Wake. Chesterfield, Dillon, and Marlboro counties in South Carolina are also part of the battle for control of a fictional place called Pineland.

…“These military members act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters, also known as Pineland resistance movement,” the center (the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, based at Fort Bragg) said.

“To add realism … civilian volunteers throughout the state act as role players. Participation by these volunteers is crucial to the success of this training, and past trainees attest to the realism they add to the exercise,” the center said.

Our military is training on American soil to interact with American freedom fighters. There are a lot of things wrong with this picture.

A New Level Of Insanity

On Thursday, the NC Family Policy Council website reported the following:

Lambda Legal, a national LGBTQ activist organization, is suing the State of North Carolina over what it characterizes as a “discriminatory policy” relating to birth certificates. Consistent with biology, history, and longstanding policy, current state law requires birth certificates in North Carolina to identify a child as either “male” or “female.” In 1975, the state modified the law to allow an individual to change the sex designation on his or her birth certificate if they file a written request with the State Registrar and provide a notarized statement from a licensed physician that they have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

In its complaint, Lambda Legal asks the federal district court to throw out the 1975 accommodation as unconstitutional, and simply allow transgender identifying persons to change the sex designations on their birth certificates upon request.

…In its complaint, Lambda Legal asks the federal district court to throw out the 1975 accommodation as unconstitutional, and simply allow transgender identifying persons to change the sex designations on their birth certificates upon request.

The UCLA Williams Institute School of Law reports:

In 2011, Gary J. Gates utilized two state-level population-based surveys that collected data from 2003 in California and from 2007 and 2009 in Massachusetts to estimate that 0.3% of the U.S. adult population, roughly 700,000 adults, identified as transgender.2 Since then, more state-level data sources have emerged that allow us to utilize an estimation procedure that would not have been possible with the limited data available in 2011. Compared to the data used in Gates’ study, these new data sources provide more recent data (2014), larger sample sizes, and more detailed information about respondents. This allows for the development of more recent, detailed, and statistically robust estimates of the percentage and number of adults in the United States who identify as transgender.

This report utilizes data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender nationally and in all 50 states.3 We find that 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender. This figure is double the estimate that utilized data from roughly a decade ago and implies that an estimated 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender.4 State-level estimates of adults who identify as transgender range from 0.3% in North Dakota to 0.8% in Hawaii.5 In addition, due to current state-level policy debates that specifically target and affect transgender students, we provide estimates of the number of adults who identify as transgender by age. The youngest age group, 18 to 24 year olds, is more likely than older age groups to identify as transgender.

Transgender is being pushed on many of our children in school almost from kindergarten. Social media has a lot to do with its increase among teenagers and young adults. There are very few social media posts by people who have regretted transgender surgery or hormone treatments. Generally they are not posted. The social media posts seem to imply that changing your sex will solve all of your teenage problems. Obviously,  many of the teenagers who attempt this solution promptly find out that it is not the answer to their problems. Unfortunately many of the steps taken by the time a teenager realizes their mistake are irreversible. I don’t think it is unreasonable to require at least a letter of request to change the gender on your birth certificate.

Working Hard To Ignore The Will Of The Voters

On September 8th, The Carolina Journal posted an article about some recent shenanigans in the North Carolina Supreme Court. In 2018, North Carolina voters passed a referendum to require voter ID. Logically that should have been the end of it–the voters have spoken, the people in charge need to listen. Well, it wasn’t the end of it. Later that year, the North Carolina legislature passed (and overrode a governor’s veto) another voter ID law. The law passed by the legislature was struck down in 2019 by a District Court. In 2020, the federal appeals court overrode the lower court’s decision allowing voter ID in North Carolina. As things stand now, the 2022 elections will require voter ID. Actually voter ID was used in one North Carolina primary election while the legal maneuvering was going on. That election showed increased voter turnout (disproving the argument that voter ID laws decrease turnout), and made the job of the people handing out ballots much easier. Voter ID made the election run much more smoothly. So where are we now?

The Carolina Journal reports:

In an astonishing and unprecedented power grab that will overturn 200 years of case law and prior precedents, Democrats on the state Supreme Court are preparing to disqualify and remove two duly-elected Republican Supreme Court justices from a case so they can nullify voters’ decision to amend the Constitution.

The case is NAACP v. Moore and the state Supreme Court’s Democrats are trying to remove two Republican members from the bench, so a new temporary four-to-one Democrat majority can erase two constitutional amendments – the cap on income tax, and the voter I.D. requirement – which were overwhelmingly passed by more than four million votes.

In a plan already underway, Democrats Anita Earls, Robin Hudson, and Mike Morgan would conspire to remove the justices while allowing Associate Justice Jimmy Ervin to vote AGAINST the move because he is the one Democrat currently on the court who will face re-election in 2022.

This is not just an inside-baseball rumor. It is in motion. On July 23, 2021, lawyers for the NAACP filed a motion to have two Republican members, Justice Tamara Barringer and Justice Phil Berger, Jr., both sitting members of the state Supreme Court, removed in the case.

The lawyers argue that they have a conflict of interest because Berger is the son of Senate Leader Phil Berger and Barringer was a lawmaker during the time these constitutional amendments passed the legislature by a 3/5ths majority.

After a while you have to wonder why Democrats are so threatened by voter ID. Picture identification is required for a lot of activities not related to voting–cashing a check, boarding a plane, entering a federal or state building, opening a bank account, buying a car, etc. There are very few people among us that do not have some sort of picture identification. Also, I believe that the voter ID law makes photo ID’s available at no cost. The only reason to oppose voter ID laws is that they make it more difficult to cheat. Do the Democrats think we are too stupid to figure that out?

Getting Past The CON Laws

According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, as of 2016, 35 states have Certificate of Need (CON) Laws.

The website notes:

This means that 35 states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit entry or expansion of healthcare facilities through CON programs.

North Carolina is one of those states with CON programs. The Carolina Journal posted an article about how those programs impact medical care in those states.

The Carolina Journal states:

It’s especially bad when government encourages health care providers to act more like bullies than healers. But that’s exactly what can happen with North Carolina’s certificate-of-need regime.

A recent court case highlights the problem. On July 6, a unanimous three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals agreed to grant a certificate of need to InSight Health Corp. The ruling affirmed earlier decisions from state regulators and an administrative law judge. In that sense, the ruling was unremarkable.

But details of the case, spelled out in Judge John Tyson’s 17-page opinion, highlight CON’s unsavory impact on N.C. health care.

The certificate of need is a government permission slip. Without it, health care providers are banned from opening new facilities, adding beds to existing hospitals, or even purchasing larger pieces of medical equipment. A government-appointed board working with state bureaucrats decides when and where to issue a CON.

One piece of equipment subject to a state CON is the positron emission tomography, or PET, scanner. It offers images that show how patients’ tissues and organs are functioning. In 2018 state government decreed that N.C. health consumers needed exactly one new mobile PET scanner across the state.

Without CON restrictions, health care providers would have been free to make their own decisions about adding new PET scanners. One or more providers might have put new scanners into operation in 2018, giving patients more options.

Instead the state forced interested providers to compete for a single CON. The certificate would grant the winner the exclusive right to purchase a new PET scanner. The winner would reap all financial benefits from additional scans.

The article explains that when the winner was named, one of the other competitors filed a complaint.

The article notes:

Now, three years after the state decided to offer a CON and two years after awarding it, there’s still no new PET scanner. All we have is a ruling from North Carolina’s second-highest court. It’s not even clear that the legal fight is over.

Bureaucratic and legal delays would be bad enough. But Tyson’s opinion highlighted evidence of behavior no one should expect from organizations devoted to boosting people’s health.

The article concludes:

InSight was able to secure supporting documents from hospitals in Caldwell and Jackson counties. But Mobile Imaging later approached leaders of both hospitals. Mobile’s team had drafted letters that would rescind support for InSight’s application. One hospital official signed the letter, leaving InSight with a single hospital willing to go on record supporting its CON application.

Despite having signed the letter, the hospital president who went along with Mobile Imaging’s scheme later testified that she still would have considered working with InSight if it won the CON.

In other words, the only objection to InSight’s bid was active opposition from a competitor with an “effective monopoly” on existing services. Tyson noted “ample evidence” of Mobile Imaging’s “anti-competitive behavior.”

Nothing looks good about Mobile Imaging Partners’ actions in this case. Its behind-the-scenes maneuvers look especially bad when one considers the CON’s purported goal: increased access to health care. You’ll search in vain to find bullying and scare tactics among the skills taught to health care professionals.

This entire problem (including the court case) could be settled by ending the CON Laws in North Carolina. There has been a bill brought up in the North Carolina legislature to end CON Laws in at least one recent session The problem is that the bill has been traditionally sent to a committee where it dies. CON laws cost consumers and health insurance complanies money. CON Laws need to end.

Why Elections Matter

Yesterday The Carolina Journal posted an article about North Carolina spending policies in recent years.

The article reports:

At $6 trillion, President Joe Biden’s first budget calls for an unprecedented level of federal spending. Republican members of Congress who criticize the president’s plan are understandably reminded by Democrats that the GOP did not do much to resist—and even contributed to—excessive government spending during President Donald Trump’s time in office. During those four years, rampant spending led to nearly $8 trillion in more federal debt, though this included pandemic-related funding approved with bipartisan support. Still, this represents a 40% jump in mortgaging the future of ourselves, our kids, and our grandkids. It’s time for responsible budgeting at every level of government.

Republicans in Washington don’t have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing the profligacy of congressional Democrats and the Biden administration. But Republicans in many state capitals across the country, however, do. That’s because Republican governors and lawmakers in several states are getting government spending under control by passing conservative budgets which remain below population growth plus inflation. North Carolina is among the most prominent examples of this phenomenon—but is not the only one.

Since Republicans took control of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in a century a decade ago, they have kept growth in state spending on a conservative budget trajectory that keeps government growth within the average taxpayer’s ability to fund it. Since 2013, North Carolina state spending has grown by an average of 2.24% annually, which is below the population growth plus inflation rate of 2.58%.

These fiscal policies in North Carolina have resulted in budget surpluses and the lowering of the state income tax.

The article notes:

North Carolina lawmakers are now working to enact a new conservative budget that provides further tax relief. Those who want to continue the sustainable budgeting of recent years received good news in early June as legislative leaders from both chambers of the General Assembly announced a consensus spending figure that, if the new budget does not exceed it, would have state spending continue to grow slower than the combined rate of population growth plus inflation. More recently, the North Carolina Senate unveiled its version of the budget, which, in addition to spending less than the figure agreed to with the House in early June, cuts the personal income tax rate from 5.25% to 3.99% while phasing out the corporate income tax by 2028. That budget was approved with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority in the North Carolina Senate on June 24.

“We are pleased to see that the fiscal restraint the General Assembly has shown over the last ten years will continue,” said Brian Balfour, senior vice president of research at the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based think tank. “It’s a strategy we would like to see added to the state constitution in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.”

These policies have had the following results (reported in Global Trade):

NORTH CAROLINA

The second-largest food and beverage manufacturing state and the overall fifth-largest manufacturing state in America, North Carolina is home to the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast. The manufacturing industry employs 460,000 skilled workers in North Carolina–nearly 11 percent of the state’s workforce. North Carolina manufacturing makes up about 20 percent of the state’s gross state product, to the tune of $102.48 billion in 2017 and $31.06 billion in exports in 2018. North Carolina has experienced tremendous growth in manufacturing goods in recent years, with a nearly 35 percent increase in exports from 2010 to 2018. North Carolina’s pro-business climate and expert workforce make it an ideal state for manufacturers.

North Carolina has set an example Washington, D.C. needs to follow.

Following The Science?

On Tuesday, the John Locke website posted an article about North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus.

The article includes the following information:

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending May 17:

    • As of May 17, there were 963,539 North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
    • Active cases comprised just 1.6% of NC’s total case count (note: a case of COVID isn’t a permanent infection, and only someone with an active case of the virus can conceivably transmit it to you)
    • Active cases represented over 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
    • Now 34 out of every 35 (97.1%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
    • Only just over 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
    • About 90.6% people in NC had never had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, despite the PCR test cycle threshold set so high as to produce a large amount of false positives (note: this proportion will always decline, but we have been living with this virus since February 2020, as far as testing is concerned)
    • All things considered, nearly 99.9% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone — a virus most had never had and the rest had recovered from (note: this proportion will fluctuate based on relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understand because it does not account for vaccinations)

The title of the article asks the question, “The NC Threat-Free Index for the Week Ending May 17 — and Why Are We Still Under a “State of Emergency”?”  That is a very good question.

Limiting Voting To Legal Voters

The idea of only American citizens being allowed to vote in American elections is pretty basic. You wouldn’t think there would be a lot of room for discussion (or lawsuits). You would be wrong.

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court has ruled against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, vacating a lower court’s decision blocking the inspection of the state’s voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting.

The article reports:

“North Carolina had tried to prevent the public from inspecting records related to noncitizens registering and voting in our elections,” PILF (Public Interest Legal Foundation) President J. Christian Adams said in a statement.

“Federal law presumes that election records are public,” Adams said. “The Fourth Circuit vacated the lower court’s dismissal of the case. This is an important win because it means that the public’s right to know about election vulnerabilities has been vindicated.”

The Richmond-based appeals court concluded “that the Board’s efforts in the present case to identify non-citizen registrants qualify as a ‘program’ or ‘activity’ to ensure an accurate list of eligible voters.”

In June 2019, PILF filed the lawsuit against North Carolina election officials after they failed to disclose voter roll records showing non-citizen registrations and voting. A lower court, though, dismissed PILF’s lawsuit claiming such records could not be disclosed to the public.

The article concludes:

While PILF will now go back to court to negotiate over the records, this is the third win for PILF on protecting the right to inspect state voter rolls for non-citizen registrations and voting since 2019.

In March 2019, a Texas court ruled that PILF could move forward with seeking non-citizen voting records in Harris County, Texas. Then, in December 2019, a federal court similarly ruled that PILF could continue seeking non-citizen voting records in Pennsylvania.

North Carolina has a history of concealing non-citizen voting. In November 2019, for instance, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed legislation that would have purged self-admitted non-citizen voters from the state’s voter rolls ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The case is Public Interest Legal Foundation v. North Carolina State Board of Elections19-2265 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Every American should support the idea of only legal voters voting. Every illegal vote cancels out the vote of a legal voter.

Watchdogs In Education In North Carolina

On Monday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article reporting some good news about education in North Carolina.

The article reports:

A North Carolina education advocacy group launched a website this week to help whistleblowers expose radicalism in K-12 schools.

Education First Alliance launched its Schoolhouse Shock watchdog site on Monday to help parents and teachers call attention to radicalism in the classroom. Users can anonymously upload videos, photos, and documents from their child’s class to catalog critical race theory-based lessons being taught in schools.

“Our new statewide whistleblower program, Schoolhouse Shock, will add to our toolbox in the fight against the onslaught of racially inflammatory and sexualized curriculums that children are being immersed in all over North Carolina,” Sloan Rachmuth, Education First Alliance president, said in a statement.

The North Carolina Board of Education in February adopted radical curriculum standards built around critical race theory—the idea that American economic and political systems are inherently racist. Critics including the Education First Alliance and North Carolina lieutenant governor Mark Robinson (R.) say the politically charged standards undermine students’ education.

Rachmuth, an investigative reporter, established Education First Alliance in January. The nonprofit opposes the use of anti-American ideologies like critical race theory and antiracism in classrooms and pushes “for the equality of dignity and of opportunity for all K-12 students.”

Although remote learning has been a problem for many children, in many cases it has allowed parents to pay closer attention to what their children are being taught. I believe that the Education First Alliance provides a way for parents to put their concerns into action.

The article notes:

Education First Alliance charts the rise of critical race theory in education on its blog. The group reported on a nine-week-long “Culturally Responsive Teaching” training that instructed teachers to “disrupt” the education system with critical race theory. The group also documented a series of tweets in which James Ford—a North Carolina state education board member who was hand-selected by Democratic governor Roy Cooper—lauded anti-Semitic preacher Jeremiah Wright.

The organization uncovered documents that instructed North Carolina public school teachers to ask students about their sexual orientations and more. Middle school students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district were asked about their sexual preferences. Sixth graders at Innovation Academy, a school south of Raleigh, were given a survey that asked students to count the number of genders and sexual orientations they believe exist, as well as whether they believe the gay community deserves rights.

Grassroots opposition to leftist indoctrination is on the rise. In North Carolina, Robinson in March created the F.A.C.T.S. Task Force, which provides parents another way to share radical education materials and other examples of “indoctrination” in schools. The national, nonpartisan Parents Defending Education launched in March to provide resources—including a tip-line and instructions for filing public records requests—to parents who want to protect their child’s education from “activists promoting harmful agendas.”

North Carolina’s education board began revising the state’s K-12 history curriculum in 2019. Early drafts of the standards called for teaching students as young as kindergarten terms like “systemic racism” and “gender identity.”

What we teach out children about America will determine the future of America. Parents need to be paying attention.

What’s Really In Our Voting Machines?

On Monday The Voter Integrity Project posted an article about voting machines in North Carolina. As I am sure you remember, one of the discussion points regarding the integrity of the 2020 presidential election was whether or not the voting machines were hooked up to the internet. In North Carolina we were assured that they were not. Well, not so fast.

The article reports:

April 13, 2021 (Raleigh) Demands for an audit of the 2020 elections has grown bigger after an April 9 Michigan court filing reported discovering a modem chip embedded in the motherboard of the ES&S 200, which is the same machine widely used across North Carolina.

…“A modem chip embedded into the motherboard of the the most popular voting machine in North Carolina greatly undercuts the State Board of Election’s claim that no tabulation equipment was connected to the internet,” said Jay DeLancy of Voter Integrity Project. “Now more than ever, we need the Legislature to step up and audit the 2020 elections.”

The NCSBE website says the ES&S DS200 is used all across the state, but they have never admitted the presence of modem chips.

According to evidence in a trial that included sworn testimony by aerospace engineer and former Michigan State Senator, Patrick Colbeck, the modem chip, the Telit 910 Cat. 1 Series, has the following capabilities:

    • Enable communication between voting system equipment and election servers
    • Designed to operate on a virtual private network
    • Testing has revealed that the same SIM card could be used in a separate wireless hotspot device. This device could then join the same APN as the ES&S voting machines.

“Election officials will probably deny and dismiss the presence of this capability,” DeLancy said, “and that’s we’re demanding for the Legislature to conduct their own independent audit as a function of their oversight authority.”

As New Hampshire voters have already discovered in the Windham incident, the quickest and most accurate way to see if the modem’s adjusted the vote counts is through a hand-eye recount. Such action resulted in a net vote swing of 1,300 votes, by giving one Democrat an extra 100 votes and penalizing four Republicans by 300 votes each.

According to Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers leader, Ed Naile, the machines used in Windham were NOT connected to the internet, but a motherboard modem would change everything. A forensic investigation is already underway to determine the root cause of the discrepancies.

“North Carolina lawmakers only require the presidential race to be verified in a random hand-eye recount,” DeLancy said, “so they now need to recount last year’s full ballot unless they want people to give up on the entire process.”

I am not a person who understands much about how computers work. However, I think everyone who uses a computer is aware of such things as hacking, viruses, and malware. It seems to me that a modem chip embedded in a machine could cause an endless amount of problems. The question becomes, “Why was it there?” and “Who put it there?” I think the answers to those two questions (if those questions are ever answered) would be very interesting.

A Message To American Christians

As I watch our nation slide further into godlessness and immorality,  I am concerned for the future of my children and grandchildren. Yet as I watch events unfold, I am reminded that the time of Jesus’ return is drawing near. All of the conditions are being met–Israel became a nation in 1948, communication is such that worldwide simultaneous broadcasting is possible, and we are seeing what Jesus identified as ‘birth pangs.’

I don’t know exactly what America’s future will be. I know that we were founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that we have forsaken those principles. It is interesting to me that the two models the Founders used for our system of government were the Anglo-Saxons and Ancient Israel. In Exodus 18, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, tells Moses to teach the Israelites God’s statutes and laws and to select able men who fear God to be rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. These rulers were to judge small local matters so that the burden of governance would be shared. That is the basis of our representative government. The original suggestion for our national sea paid tribute to both Ancient Israel and the Anglo-Saxons.

What is our responsibility as Christians and as Americans at this time? Obviously, we are to share the message of God’s love, but there is more. The current condition of America illustrates the wisdom of John Adam’s words, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Obviously that train has left the station.

I don’t know if it is possible to rescue America. I do believe, however, that if America is rescued, it will be a sovereign work of God through his people. So where do we start? We need to pray for our nation and for its leaders. Next we need to education our children about God’s love and the role of God in government–His place in our founding principles–and then on our history and their future responsibilities as citizens in a Constitutional Republic. Then we need to seek out virtuous (that is an old-fashioned but necessary concept) people to run for local offices (the farm team for national office) and support them with our time and efforts. Next we need to get involved with out current local and state leaders (that is where we have the most influence). We need to email, call, or write their offices regularly regarding current legislation. (All North Carolina legislators and legislation can be found at ncleg.gov). If you live in a state other than North Carolina, the same rules apply. Your state also has a legislative website that can help you get started. Get to know which state legislators will fight for your freedom. Encourage and support them.

God has placed us in a Constitutional Republic. There are responsibilities that go with the freedom He has blessed us with. Now is not the time to throw up our hands in response to the corruption we see around us. Our window of opportunity may be short. We who are living in North Carolina have some legislators who are willing to fight to maintain our freedoms, but there is no guarantee that they will win. If they do win, we may become a small island of freedom in an ocean of tyranny. Our redemption is near, but we have work to do in the meantime.

North Carolina Is Taking A Step Toward Election Integrity

Representative Keith Kidwell has introduced a bill into the North Carolina House of Representatives that represents a small step toward election integrity in North Carolina. The bill is only 12 lines long.

This is the bill:

This is a beginning. According to the North Carolina legislature webpage, the Bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary 1. Stay tuned.

The Dangers Of Moving To Green Energy Before The Technology Is Perfected

On February 10th, The John Locke Foundation posted an article about the proposed energy policies of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

The article reports:

  • Last summer California suffered two days of rolling blackouts
  • California’s Utility Commission recently published their findings of what happened to cause the massive loss in power
  • Years of misguided policies led to a shortage of dispatchable energy — the same policies Gov. Roy Cooper is advocating for North Carolina

Last summer California suffered two days of rolling blackouts because the customers’ needs for electricity exceeded the California power system’s ability to generate electricity. Such a thing should never happen. The California Utilities Commission recently published a report explaining what happened and why.

North Carolinians should know that many of the energy policies Gov. Roy Cooper has advocated for here in North Carolina follow the mistakes identified as the cause of California’s blackouts. As in California, these missteps will leave North Carolina unprepared for our energy future and will ultimately lead to blackouts here. North Carolina should not repeat California’s mistakes.

The job of providing stable electricity to the consumer can be complicated, but this much is pretty simple: enough electricity must always be generated to meet the demand. The United States has developed one of the world’s finest electricity systems. Its costs are among the lowest, and its reliability is among the highest. What happened to California? What bad energy decisions were made over the years in California resulting in rolling blackouts?

According to the “Root Cause Analysis” published by California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission, here are the factors that led to the outages:

  1. Climate change–induced extreme weather caused the demand to exceed the generating capability of the California system.
  2. In transitioning to “clean” energy, the State’s dispatchable generating capacity had “not kept pace” with the state’s needs.
  3. The State’s “Resource Adequacy” program failed to predict the needs of the heat wave.

The article concludes:

Cooper is steering North Carolina in the same direction. He opposes building new natural gas pipelines while pushing for more solar plants, which need natural gas backup. Is this where we want North Carolina to go? Do we want more poverty? Do we want the poorest having to pay more of their monthly income for electricity? Do we want rolling blackouts?

Shouldn’t we learn from California’s mistakes instead and keep natural gas plants supplied with gas while we build more nuclear power?

There are a few things those promoting green energy (including electric cars) fail to mention when promoting their agenda. The disposal of the blades on windmills and the disposal of solar panels are creating an environmental hazard. The mining of lithium for electric car batteries involves the use of slave labor in Africa. (articles here, here, here, and here). Rolling blackouts are not acceptable in a country as prosperous as America. We have cut our carbon footprint significantly with the use of natural gas. It is folly to believe we can run a successful economy without the careful use of fossil fuel to keep the economy going. Spain learned that lesson in the early 2000’s (article here).

Hopefully the legislature can put Governor Cooper on the right track.

 

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

First of all, I would like to bring to your attention an article about a Dedham, Massachusetts, coach who was fired for

Second of all, The John Locke Foundation posted an article today about the new proposed social studies standards in North Carolina.

The article notes:

  • America’s public schools have a duty to ensure that they cultivate active, knowledgeable, and discerning citizens
  • Studies suggest that many citizens have a negligible understanding of history, economics, and government
  • The proposed social studies standards for North Carolina public schools fail to provide a framework for ensuring that children possess a satisfactory understanding of our social, political, and economic systems

The article continues:

The fact that any American, let alone a voting-age adult, cannot recall basic facts about the nation’s political system is an indictment of the institution responsible for educating them: public schools. Taxpayers assume that the hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the American public school system will produce active, knowledgeable, and discerning citizens. And yet only 15% of eighth-grade students were deemed proficient on the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history test. Around one in four students scored at or above proficient on the NAEP civics and geography tests administered the same year.

In North Carolina, the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction are responsible for ensuring that our public schools produce high school graduates equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive citizens. And those formative efforts primarily occur in public school social studies classes. So when state officials began their periodic review of state social studies standards in 2019, it was an opportunity to strengthen standards that had not been revised in a decade.

While teachers ultimately retain control of day-to-day instructional matters, state standards lay the foundation for what children will learn in the classroom. More importantly, they provide children a framework for helping them understand the ideals embodied in the American experiment.

Unfortunately, members of the State Board of Education railroaded the social studies standards adoption process last year, asking Department of Public Instruction staff to infuse the standards with language that reflected their left-wing ideology. The tone of the standards was changed dramatically. The previous version tried to strike a balance between competing visions of the nation. It highlighted groups’ struggles without abandoning the hope that those struggles could become exceptions in our history and not the rule. Critically, the new version of the standards sought to convey one vision, clumsily placing race, class, and gender conflicts at the center of the story at the expense of seeking to ensure children possess a satisfactory understanding of our social, political, and economic systems.

Some members of the State Board of Education have disagreed with these changes. Dr. Olivia Oxendine, Amy White, Todd Chasteen, and most recently Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson have been the most outspoken opponents of the revised standards. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt identified critical shortcomings in the standards and requested additional time to review them. To accommodate her request, the State Board of Education called a special meeting on January 27, a week before the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Truitt proposed three revisions to the social studies standards and a plan for developing additional resources to support implementation. The word “systemic” would be removed from the terms “systemic racism” and “systemic discrimination.” In addition, the term “gender identity” would be changed to “identity.” Supporting documents developed over the next seven months would include a glossary and other resources for social studies teachers.

The article concludes:

North Carolina needs social studies standards focused on civic literacy and dedicated to providing students a balanced perspective of American history. A balanced view does not attempt to conceal the nation’s mistakes. Instead, it gives equal weight to failures and successes. It identifies errors and facts. It affirms our ideals, even as we work to create a society that honors them.

This perspective is shared by the 26,000+ North Carolinians who have signed Robinson’s petition opposing the draft under consideration. The State Board of Education should delay their scheduled vote on their standards this week to consider the concerns of the thousands of citizens who signed the petition and countless others who corresponded directly with the board members.

The consensus of America’s founders is that a free nation requires an informed citizenry. As James Madison declared, “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” Given that our schools have abandoned the advancement and diffusion of knowledge in favor of leftist indoctrination, it’s remarkable that we have any liberty left.

Even if you don’t have children in school, the decisions made regarding this program will impact your life. America and its freedom will not be defended by those who have no understanding of it.

We Need Much More Of This

CBN News is reporting the following today:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and their international counterparts arrested 113 alleged child predators across the US and South America from Nov. 2 – 6 in what is described by the Department of Homeland Security as phase seven of Operation Protected Childhood. (OPCVII)

Working in cooperation with Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and the Public Security and the Public Security Secretariat for Integrated Operation Cyber Laboratory, the agency’s operation simultaneously targeted the distributors and producers of child sexual abuse material throughout the Americas.

Law enforcement agencies in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama coordinated with Homeland Security field offices in their respective countries during the sweep.

Here in the US, Homeland Security field offices working with local law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, and Florida executed a combined 13 child exploitation-related search warrants and made nine arrests for child exploitation offenses. 

Simultaneously, international law enforcement partners in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama also executed search warrants in their respective countries, totaling the following arrests: 

    • Brazil – 137 child exploitation related search warrants and 74 arrests
    • Argentina – 37 child exploitation related search warrants and 23 arrests
    • Paraguay – 2 child exploitation related search warrants and 2 arrests
    • Panama – 7 child exploitation related search warrants and 5 arrests

ICE officials especially praised Brazil for its efforts in the ongoing Operation Protected Childhood.

Thank God for law enforcement officers who are willing to search out and find the people exploiting innocent children. Please follow the link to read the entire article for further details.

The Need To Count All Of The Votes

Just the News posted an article today about one aspect of ballot counting in this election that I have not yet seen mentioned–the absentee military ballots.

The article reports:

Military ballots for the 2020 presidential election remain uncounted in a number of key swing states, a spokesperson for a voter advocacy group told Just the News.

One state that could make a difference is Georgia, said a spokesperson for Count Every Hero, a group that advocates to make sure that ballots from overseas military personnel are counted.

In 2016, overseas military voters cast 5,203 votes in Georgia, according to the organization.

…Other states also have significant numbers of uncounted military ballots, the group said. They include the following:

    • Nevada, which counts service members’ ballots that arrive by Nov. 10. In 2016, overseas military members and their families cast 2,677 votes.
    • North Carolina, which counts military ballots that arrive by Nov. 12. As of Wednesday night, 4,200 of those ballots had not been tallied.
    • Pennsylvania, which counts military ballots that arrive by Nov. 10. As of Wednesday morning, 10,478 of those ballots remained uncounted.

The article concludes:

Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin counts overseas military ballots that arrive by Election Day. The group did not provide numbers on un-tallied ballots from those states.

Stay tuned.

 

Benign-Sounding Policies Often Have Negative Consequences

North Carolina is a battleground state in this election. After a responsible State Treasurer and a responsible State Legislature brought us into fiscal solvency, we are in danger of forgetting where we have been and what it took to get where we are. Because of an influx of people fleeing high tax states with bad weather (guilty as charged), it is possible that North Carolina will become a purple state instead of a red state. Many of those people coming into the state are attempting to implement the very expensive state policies that they fled. That would mean that the hard-fought income tax decreases passed by the legislators would be undone and spending would increase drastically as it had under previous Democrat legislatures. One of these items currently being mentioned in the gubernatorial campaign is Medicaid Expansion. Governor Cooper supports it and Dan Forest does not.

On September 22, 2020, The John Locke Foundation posted an article explaining what Medicaid Expansion would mean to North Carolina.

The article reports:

Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina is a misguided and costly plan for our state, and would not be free to state taxpayers, as Gov. Roy Cooper claims. New economic analysis released by the John Locke Foundation reveals that expansion would leave the state with a funding gap estimated between $119.3 million and $171.3 million in the first year alone.

The expansion funding gap would continue every year and could increase based on enrollment in the program and cost of the enrollees in the future. Multiple North Carolina expansion scenarios are detailed by JLF Health Care Policy Analyst Jordan Roberts in the report, Big Government, Big Price Tag: Medicaid Expansion = Funding Gap For State Government.

…Nearly 2.4 million people are currently enrolled in North Carolina’s program. Gov. Cooper and state Democrats have fiercely advocated for overloading Medicaid with 500,000 to 600,000 additional people. Nearly eight of 10 of the proposed expansion population are able-bodied, working-age adults with no children, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Gov. Cooper claims that adding this massive new group would not require any state money and that the state’s portion of costs would be paid for via taxes on hospitals and providers.

“The governor’s statement is wrong,” said Roberts. “Our modeling is rigorous and uses varying enrollment numbers and expenditure data from respected sources. The most likely modeled scenarios result in the need for state appropriations. That means taxpayers.”

Beyond the fiscal implications for the state, Roberts worries about the fate of those currently enrolled. “If massive numbers of new people are added, it will be harder to access care. Many current Medicaid patients have multiple health issues; they’re our most vulnerable. The worst thing we could do is to push their needs aside.”

We need to provide a way for all Americans to get the healthcare they need. However, we need to do it carefully–providing what is needed to the people who need it. The welfare state has grown so large that there is no concept of individual responsibility included in allocating resources. There is also no incentive for the overgrown bureaucracy to decrease the number of people getting assistance. It is time to encourage all Americans to take responsibility for their own economic welfare. That may mean providing a path out of government dependence rather than bringing them deeper into it.

Avoiding Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Election

Early voting began in North Carolina yesterday. Recently the Democrat-controlled State Board of Elections attempted to change the rules regarding absentee ballots just before voting began. The Epoch Times reported yesterday that the effort has failed.

The article reports:

A federal judge on Oct. 14 ruled that absentee ballots in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina must include a witness signature.

District Judge William Osteen in Greensboro on Oct. 14 issued an injunction essentially prohibiting voters in the state from be able to “fix” an absentee ballot they had already sent in if it didn’t have a witness signature.

Osteen was reversing a Sept. 22 directive by North Carolina officials that had made it possible for state voters to return an affidavit verifying that the absentee ballot without a witness signature had been signed by them, and not somebody else.

The judge said the September directive conflicts with a ruling he issued in August upholding the overall witness requirement in state law, but requiring that voters be given due process to fix, or cure, minor ballot errors.

…Last week, Osteen raised concerns that eliminating the witness requirement for absentee ballots could open the door to ballot fraud. He suggested that someone could skip having a witness entirely, but then have their vote counted anyway by sending an affidavit to county officials.

“Judge Osteen was right to stop the … elimination of the absentee ballot witness requirement,” Sen. Phil Berger (R-N.C.) said in a statement in response to the ruling.

Republicans are fighting similar legal battles related to mail-in voting across the United States with the goal of preventing voter fraud. Democrats argue that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent and are fighting against various requirements they say make it hard to cast votes by mail. Democrats’ efforts involve at least 600 lawyers, and dwarf those of Republicans.

Absentee and mail-in ballots are the place where there seems to be the most voter fraud. There are also incidents of ballots not being delivered in a timely manner and also occasional instances where ballots are found in trash bins or discarded on the side of the road. This judge has made a decision that will help ensure the integrity of the election.

Shenanigans In North Carolina

North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger posted an article on Friday detailing the recent illegal actions of the North Carolina Board of Elections.

The article reports:

Meeting minutes from the Sept. 15 closed session of the State Board of Elections reveal a bombshell. The collusive settlement “negotiated” between the Democratic attorneys with the Board of Elections, the N.C. Department of Justice and national Democrats went way beyond the bounds of what the state Board of Elections had originally authorized.

At the very beginning of the meeting, Democratic attorneys falsely told Republican Board members that “privilege” forbade them from speaking to anybody about the collusive settlement. This apparent effort to muzzle the Republican members further supports the fact that Democrats went to great lengths to conceal their secret negotiations with Marc Elias.

Minutes clearly show that Board of Elections members authorized settlement terms that included keeping the witness requirement on absentee ballots and prohibiting unmanned ballot drop boxes.

But that’s not what the conclusive statement reported:

But the collusive settlement announced this week does the exact OPPOSITE of what the Board authorized. If accepted by a judge, the settlement would violate state law by allowing absentee ballots with no witness information. All the “voter” would have to do is sign a form, which also does not require a witness. That effectively eliminates the witness requirement.

The article lists the things that collusive statement would approve:

1. Permit anonymous outdoor absentee ballot drop boxes. The law forbids anybody other than a voter or a voter’s near relative from delivering an absentee ballot and requires the Board of Elections to record who returns every ballot. But the collusive consent order filed today allows outdoor “absentee ballot drop-off stations” and says, “a county board may not disapprove a ballot solely because it is placed in a drop box.” The Democratic-controlled Board was kind enough to require signs on the drop boxes that tell ballot harvesters they’re not really supposed to use them.

2. Eliminate witness requirements for absentee ballots. State law requires one witness to sign an absentee ballot and legibly include his or her name and address. But the collusive consent order submitted today effectively eliminates that requirement. If an absentee ballot is submitted without the required witness information, the Democratic-controlled Board of Elections will just mail a form to the address to which the ballot was sent, and the form can be returned with no witness information. The form can be returned nine days after the election.

3. Extend the time period in which an absentee ballot can be received by the Board to nine days after the election. State law requires absentee ballots to be received no later than three days after Election Day. This is to allow for a timely vote count and eliminate the possibility of “finding” enough “new” absentee ballots to sway the outcome of the election. But the collusive consent order unilaterally rewrites state law to provide nine full days of uncertainty and opportunity for gamesmanship after Election Day.

This is an invitation to election fraud and needs to be stopped in its tracks.

One Small Step Toward Election Integrity In North Carolina

On September 4, 2020, The Carolina Journal reported the following:

A three-judge panel has rejected a plea to block absentee ballot witness requirements for North Carolina’s fall election. The decision in N.C. Superior Court generated praise from the state Senate’s leader on election issues.

“The judges were right to reject this dangerous attempt to eliminate basic protections against fraudulent activity that took place in the most recent federal election, and I hope they do the same with the multiple other lawsuits filed by Washington Democrats this year,” said Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, in a news release. Hise co-chairs the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee. He also leads a Senate committee on election and redistricting issues.

The judges agreed not to grant a preliminary injunction in the case of Chambers v. State of North Carolina. Filed July 10 by four individual plaintiffs working with the American Civil Liberties Union, the case challenges an absentee ballot witness requirement in state law. The law requires one adult to witness an absentee ballot. It places limits on who can serve as a ballot witness.

The lawsuit alleges violations of four sections of the N.C. Constitution. But Judges Alma Hinton, Robert Bell, and Thomas Lock disagreed with the plaintiffs’ arguments. The judges found that “there is not a substantial likelihood” that the plaintiffs would win the case.

The article concludes:

“Washington Democrats sued to overturn an election security law passed with bipartisan support in the wake of widespread absentee ballot fraud uncovered in the 2018 Congressional election for North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District,” according to Hise’s news release.

“Witness signatures on absentee ballots helped uncover the fraudulent activity that took place in the 2018 Congressional election and is suspected to have taken place for many other elections before 2018,” the release continued.

“The court upheld the election integrity law that passed with broad bipartisan support after the NC-9 absentee ballot fraud,” Hise said.

Both state and federal courts have upheld the witness requirement, according to Hise’s release.

On September 1, I posted an article detailing some of the methods of voter fraud. Two of the targets of those who engage in voter fraud are absentee ballots and mail-in ballots. We do not need to do anything to make those ballots less secure, in fact, we need to do anything we can to make them more secure.

This Is Not The Path To An Honest Election

On Friday, Civitas Institute posted an article about some recent changes in the North Carolina voting laws.

The article reports:

I wrote last week about how NC State Board of Elections (SBE) Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell had ordered county election officials to accept absentee ballots that they know were transmitted illegally.

In that same memo, Brinson Bell struck another blow against absentee ballot security when she told county election officials to not verify that the signature on the absentee ballot envelope was that of the voter:

1.No Signature Verification

County boards shall accept the voter’s signature on the container-return envelope if it appears to be made by the voter, meaning the signature on the envelope appears to be the name of the voter and not some other person. Absent clear evidence to the contrary, the county board shall presume that the voter’s signature is that of the voter, even if the signature is illegible. A voter may sign their signature or make their mark.

The law does not require that the voter’s signature on the envelope be compared with the voter’s signature in their registration record. Verification of the voter’s identity is completed through the witness requirement. See also Numbered Memo 2020-15, which explains that signature comparison is not permissible for absentee request forms.

Brinson Bell offers no example of what might constitute “clear evidence” that a signature is not that of the voter and she does not want election officials to use is the one thing they have on hand that to confirm that the signature on the ballot envelope is that of the voter: the signature on the registration record.

Brinson Bell justifies stripping away signature verification by stating that “voter’s identity is completed through the witness requirement.” While the witness requirement is an important tool in helping to prevent or investigate absentee ballot fraud, recent legislation reducing the witness requirement to one for the 2020 general election means that a single political operative who gains possession of a ballot is free to complete the ballot container envelope, complete the witness section, and forge the voter’s signature. Thanks to Brinson Bell’s order, the forged signature does not even have to be a reasonable approximation of that of the voter.

This is not a move toward an honest election.