Editorial: Concocted scandal disrupts Elections Board's important work
Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 -- It turns out that the only thing "collusive" in the ginned-up controversy over the State Board of Elections' efforts to settle some mail-in ballot lawsuits was the false outrage from Republican Party and GOP leaders in the General Assembly. It was a desperate ploy gone awry. It revealed the shameful and phony efforts - from the President on down - to create baseless distrust in our election and the security of our ballots.Posted — Updated
Republicans wrongly claimed the non-partisan Board of Elections staff, the Democrats on the board and staffers from state Attorney General Josh Stein’s office had conspired and failed to provide complete information – and that was why the board was able unanimously (that’s Democrats and Republicans agreeing) on steps to take to settle the legal action.
One lesson hopefully learned from all of this – that all public agencies should heed – is to avoid the impulse to operate behind closed doors. A look at the minutes and other documents released show little if any information required any confidentiality. Further, it was the intervening days when the public was not fully informed, that allowed Republicans to go unchallenged in conducting their mis-information campaign.
There is no excuse for spreading suspicion and distrust in our elections by misinforming and misleading North Carolinians. The GOP members of the Elections Board are picked by the state Republican Party. If they acted contrary to the wishes of party leaders: Be honest; Say so; Force them to resign and replace them with those who will do their bidding.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest needs to withdraw the letter he sent to U.S. Attorney General William Barr questioning the State Elections Board’s proposed changes in mail-in ballot handling. He can simply say he was not, at the time he wrote the letter, fully informed.
It is time for the state Republican Party’s leadership to to show it believes in fair elections and a voting process that does all it can to encourage those eligible to cast ballots. To the degree Republican are unhappy, their misery is self-inflicted.
This conniving and conning misfired. Rather than discrediting our elections or their political rivals, state Republican leaders showed their own true motives and actions.
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