Ensuring a secure election system should be a bipartisan issue, and I hope new efforts to do so are not fleeting. I am attempting to resist cynicism that the support this bill has will be strictly limited to this one kind of election fraud and ONLY this one kind of fraud. That loud advocates for election integrity will abandon the cause after this one measure gets approved.
From the News & Observer:
A bipartisan state House bill filed Monday aims to prevent absentee ballot fraud similar to the allegations made in the 9th Congressional District election.
House Bill 944 would fund three new investigators and two data analysts at the State Board of Elections, and it would make it a crime to pay someone for completed absentee ballot request forms.
The proposed law doesn't ban absentee ballot harvesting, which is already prohibited (although it does not appear anyone has been interested in prosecuting this kind of behavior).
Andy Jackson at NC Civitas wrote about this issue months ago:
After the immediate issue of the 9th Congressional District election is resolved, focus will shift to preventing a repeat of that fiasco. There will likely be disagreement over the next several months about how vigorously the law against ballot harvesting should be enforced and what should be done to strengthen that law. California legalized the practice in 2016 and leftist political groups there used it to great effect in the 2018 election, ousting Republicans from several conservative-leaning seats. In California’s conservative-leaning Orange County, over 250,000 absentee ballots were dropped off on election day. Neal Kelley, Orange County Registrar of Voters, noted concerns about ballot harvesting:
We certainly had that going on here, with people dropping off maybe 100 or 200 ballots. We also had voters calling and asking if it was
legitimate for someone to come to their door and ask if they could take their ballot.
With those results in mind, some progressive political groups in North Carolina may seek loopholes to allow more ballot harvesting. They may try to somehow differentiate “good” ballot harvesting from the ballot harvesting that has allegedly been going on in Bladen County over the past several elections.
North Carolina should not play that game.
Jackson recommended prosecuting anyone who engages in ballot harvesting. I choose to be optimistic that this proposal indicates a willingness to treat election integrity with the importance it deserves.
Pete's Prep: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
- Recode reports: "Twitter is so liberal that its conservative employees 'don't feel safe' to express their opinions, says CEO Jack Dorsey."
- At The Verge: Apple CEO Tim Cook says the tech industry needs to be regulated (which means smaller businesses and new entrants to the market will more likely be shut out of the marketplace).
- From CBS: "Adult children are costing many parents their retirement savings."
- The Hill reports: Social Security won't be able to fund full payouts by 2035.
- Jon Sanders at The John Locke Foundation writes: "The News & Observer published a very deceitful piece on film tax credits."
- WBEZ reports: "The feds are investigating Gov. JB Pritzker, his wife and his brother-in-law for a big property tax break they got by removing the toilets from a Gold Coast mansion."
- The Asheville Citizen-Times reports: Brother Wolf is selling the property it had planned to turn into an animal sanctuary.