GOP Chair Response to State Dismissal of Election Protest
By Ken Raymond
Recently, State Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell dismissed the protest appeal of the 2022 midterm elections by myself and three other Forsyth County voters regarding the lax security of the override password that gave access to all of the county’s vote tabulators, creating opportunity for vote tampering. Bell ruled cavalierly that we had failed “to produce evidence of an irregularity that could change the outcome of an election.”
In so doing, Director Bell ignored state law that clearly says what is required from protestors. All we have is the law to guide and protect us---and the law was ignored. The standard that guides us is found in NCGS 163-182.10: protesters “must establish probable cause to believe that a violation of election law, or irregularity, or misconduct has occurred.”
During the preliminary hearing, board member Catherine Jourdan agreed that an irregularity did, in fact, occur. That admission alone should have triggered a hearing. But Ms. Jourdan replaced the law with an administrative rule we knew nothing about. The rule requires us to produce evidence of an irregularity that could change the outcome of an election.
Board member Chad Doomy, who voted in favor of a hearing, said it best during the preliminary phase. Doomy explained that if there’s a conflict between the law and the rules, then the law prevails. But rather than uphold state law, which the Democrat members of the board swore to do, they upheld the administrative rules.
Violation of Three Election Laws
Three election laws were possibly violated. The first is found in NCGS 163-166.5 and the second is NCGS 163-166.10. Among other things, these laws say that the board of elections shall promote rules and adhere to procedures that emphasize security of elections equipment before voting begins and at the close of voting.
One of the precinct officials, who was also a trainer, submitted a statement saying she had been in possession of the override password. Incredibly, beginning in mid-October, the override password granted administrative access to all of the county’s electronic vote tabulators through election day, Nov. 8th. Equally disturbing, the same override password that was used to access the tabulators was widely distributed after the election.
Another law we cited is NCGS 163-33.2. This law states that members of the board of elections shall test no less than 10 percent of all voting machines programmed for election day. If the tabulators were inadvertently programmed to require an override password before they were shut down at the close of voting, then that mistake would have been caught on the day the machines were tested. There may be an explanation that clarifies all of this. But because of the climate of distrust in elections we must hear these explanations under oath.
Because of our action, local winners, from both parties, have been delayed from taking their oath of office until the protest is resolved. All of this may have been settled by now if the Democrat members of the board of elections, and Director Bell, upheld the law and supported a hearing. But they did not, and the newly elected officials will continue to be inconvenienced.
But an even bigger inconvenience is when election officials circumvent state law to stop the people from being heard. Furthermore, it would be completely irresponsible for our community to go into a presidential election year without getting answers to these questions.
Forsyth County Republican Women delivers Christmas Greetings to Kernersville
Hundreds of Kernersville residents, adults, and children lined the streets to receive candy and Christmas cheer from the Forsyth County Republican Women, last Sunday, during the Kernersville Christmas Parade.
A 48-foot tractor trailer was decorated to illustrate a wintery scene with snow, Christmas trees, candy canes, and wreathes, with Mrs. Clause, Uncle Sam, seated near a brick fireplace and Santa’s elves around the Christmas trees. The decorations were created by Vertie Raymond, who also dressed as Mrs. Clause. Jo Lynn Eller and Ashley Griffin dressed as elves.
And the FCGOP extends a special thank you to Andrew and Danielle Saeli for the use of their tractor trailer for this event.