Monkey Business Report: To check signatures (or not)



The folks in Pasquotank County appear to be asking the hard questions about election administration that our drive-by media and elected leaders ought to be asking.  Here’s that county’s elections director passing some concerns from local voters to state elections officials:


From: Tate, Emma []
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 11:56 AM
Cc: White, Troy;
Subject: Question – Pasquotank


My Board and a few voters in our county wanted me to pass the attached information along concerning a request for the Pasquotank County Board of Elections to check signatures on absentee ballots against voter records.

The argument is as follows:

  • Pasquotank County, in 2016, had at least two voters complete an absentee ballot for another person when they were not around because they “knew how they would vote”. This was presented against the claim of “absent clear evidence” in numbered memo 2020-19, siting that because Pasquotank has a history of absentee voter fraud, that this is presentation of “clear evidence” for all future elections.
  • A former State Board of Elections employee travelled around the state in 2016 telling the public that you can complete an absentee ballot that isn’t yours if you know the intended voters’ wishes on how they would vote
  • Our county was provided guidance in the past that allowed us to check signatures on ballots against voter records in direct response to Dr. Cooley’s information campaign on who is allowed to complete ballots
  • While the G.S. doesn’t strictly mandate that we are required to check signatures, it doesn’t explicitly say that we are not allowed to check signatures.
  • There is a concern in the community that the legacy of Dr. Cooley’s comments is still alive in the minds of our voters, increasing the likelihood of voter fraud


Keeping in mind the guidance issued on signature checking in Numbered Memo 2020-19, could our board make the decision, if they so choose, to compare signatures on absentee ballots to voter records?


All the information listed above is receipted in the attachment. The Board and the community members would appreciate any and all guidance on this within 24 hours, pending further action.



Emma E. Tate

Director of Elections
Pasquotank County Board of Elections


And HERE is the answer from the state’s lawyer:




And just for giggles,  here is the relevant passage from Ms. Brisson Bell’s directive: