Some DC Democrats, the Dan McCready campaign, and their enablers in the drive-by media spent months lecturing us on the horrors of ballot-harvesting. They even hammered home their point by savaging Rev. Mark Harris and a guy out of Bladen County named McCrae Dowless.
Now, it appears that the North Carolina state board of elections has included language on absentee ballots for Tuesday’s special congressional election that appears to OK ballot-harvesting.
Well, it appears GOP officials in the Ninth Congressional District — and at least one GOP candidate — are not taking this news lightly. Here’s candidate Fern Shubert in a May 11 email to all GOP county chairmen in the Ninth Congressional District:
To the Chairs of the 9th District GOP:
Yesterday a friend called to express concern about the strange instruction local boards of election in the 9th District were given earlier this year by the state board of election. I did not immediately contact you because I wanted to be able to provide more facts, so some of you may already have seen some of this information on the Daily Haymaker.
I believe County Chairs should be informed about what is happening that affects their county before they read about it in the paper, and what the state board is doing is extremely important to the 9th District. If it stands, our elections could look like California’s with ballot harvesting gone wild.
Earlier this year, the state board of elections told local boards of election to affix a label which appears to authorize ballot harvesting to the return envelopes of absentee ballots for the 9th District Special Election. That’s right; they now seem to see nothing wrong with the same activity they just made a huge stink about, conducting a kangaroo court hearing to vilify Mark Harris and the Republican Party, leading to throwing out the election result because the wrong candidate apparently won.
I asked my local board of elections to send me what they received from the state and I’m attaching that to this email. The flyer to be sent to absentee voters reflects what most people believe the law says, but the new “corrected” labels say the exact opposite. It is my belief the staff is attempting to slip this change in place before Kim Strach is replaced by a Cooper appointee so it can be blamed on the Republicans.If this change is permitted to stand, winning will be much harder for any honest candidate.
I’m also attaching to this email a letter former Senator Hugh Webster and I wrote in 2009 objecting to Board of Elections Chairman Larry Leake’s failure to recuse himself despite an obvious conflict of interest. The letter was of course ignored by the Democrats. You will note the letter was received by Kim Strach, who was employed by the Board at a time when the Board did not hire Republicans. Kimberly Westbrook Strach is registered unaffiliated but she has only voted in a Republican primary in two years, 2004 and 2016. In 2002, 2008, 2010 and 2012 she voted in the Democrat primary.
There’s more, but it is best left for later. I have contacted 9th District Chair John Steward and he has contacted State Board of Elections Member David Black. Hopefully Monday we will all have more information. Feel free to phone if you learn anything new.