Republican members of the North Carolina House Freedom Caucus have responded to a letter from Executive Director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, radical Democrat Karen Brinson Bell, reminding her that their request is not something she can further ignore.
“This request is being made under North Carolina General Status 120-19, which I have quoted below for your convenience. This General Statue states that it is “mandatory” that you comply with our request,” wrote Keith Kidwell (Beaufort-Craven) on Friday.
Key Point: Brinson Bell, suspiciously, is denying members of the North Carolina General Assembly access to voting machines. Brinson Bell’s behavior is suspicious, but not unexpected considering her background.
HERE IS THE REST OF THE LETTER FROM KIDWELL
Director Brinson-Bell, In reference to your letter dated July 7, 2021, the North Carolina Freedom Caucus, in response to public concern and outcry to provide transparency in the elections process, had two meetings with members of the SBE. During these meetings, the staff members were accommodating in answering questions and concerns brought to them by the Caucus and public members.
The largest election machine vendor for the State agreed to provide access to three voting systems that they manufacture and permitted an inspection of the machine sold in other states with a modem and the systems sold in North Carolina without a modem.
They allowed us to bring a computer expert to inspect and question their staff in all hardware and software security aspects. At that time, ES&S indicated that they would be willing to take any inspected system at a randomly selected precinct by the Freedom Caucus members and recertify the machines at no cost to the SBE or county.
ES&S seemed eager to have this inspection to relieve the public’s concerns about their equipment. Since the inspection meeting, ES&S indicated that they would have their technician. The same person would service a system in need of repair open and allow us to look at the systems and then close the system not to invade, compromise or damage the machines any more than when ES&S comes to service or repair a machine.
Your letter takes an accusatory tone that the Freedom Caucus is on the hunt for problems when what we seek is to be able to show the public that the SBE and the equipment used in North Carolina are not a problem. It has come to my attention that an email has been sent to county directors telling them that if I or any other member of the Freedom Caucus go to a county Board office, they should call the NCSBE lawyer. I want to point out that first, what we seek is transparency in our election process.
Second, we have made no false or misleading statements about the North Carolina machines, processes or staff. We have sent out press releases and made social media posts that clearly said we felt from what we had seen to date were systems that did not have modems and appeared secure. We recognize that while it is your job to secure the elections, it is the job of the North Carolina General Assembly to provide oversight and address the concerns of the people we represent.
We have received thousands of letters and other communications asking us to review the systems and processes used in North Carolina. You may have noticed that the North Carolina Department of Revenue and the North Carolina State Auditor conduct audits randomly on an ongoing basis. Not due to any particular apparent problem but as a method of oversight and insurance of compliance. The requested inspection of systems in the field was to show the public that our State Board of Elections has cooperated and had nothing to hide and that our systems are, in fact, in compliance. Now we have been denied access to these systems, and a wall of the threat of lawyers has been placed in our way by you.
As Representatives of the North Carolina General Assembly, we are requesting that you permit on-site inspection of voting systems at a randomly selected precinct and randomly chosen machines so that the members of the General Assembly can show the public that our systems do not contain modems. This would seem to be the best way to regain the confidence of the North Carolina voters. This request is being made under North Carolina General Status 120-19, which I have quoted below for your convenience. This General Statue states that it is “mandatory” that you comply with our request. If you care to have a meeting to discuss how this can be resolved please contact my office at the above phone or email.
The North Carolina Freedom Caucus member are eager to help prove to the voters that they can have the utmost confidence in our election processes. Sincerely, Keith Kidwell Chairman North Carolina Freedom Caucus Representative 79th District North Carolina House of Representatives NC GS 120-19 “State officers, etc., upon request, to furnish data and information to legislative committees or commissions. Except as provided in G.S. 105-259, all officers, agents, agencies and departments of the State are required to give to any committee of either house of the General Assembly or any committee or commission whose funds are appropriated or transferred to the General Assembly or to the Legislative Services Commission for disbursement, upon request, all information and all data within their possession, or ascertainable from their records.
This requirement is mandatory and shall include requests made by any individual member of the General Assembly, one of its standing committees or the chair of a standing committee, or any other legislative panel duly appointed by the President Pro Tempore and/or the Speaker of the House or an agent or employee of such a legislative panel. (Resolution 19, 1937, p. 927; 1993, c. 485, s. 37; 2001-491, s. 33.1; 2019-80, s. 3.)
IT WAS EXPECTED
Each election cycle we all wonder if voter fraud is really a problem. For years we have been assured that voter fraud is difficult and is a punishable offense. Under the guise of needing to relax voter restrictions due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, states like North Carolina relaxed some of the safeguards that were put in place to make fraud difficult. The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBOE), whose director is Karen Brinson Bell, has systematically gone well beyond those statutory changes by unilaterally gutting many of the remaining protections. Will voter fraud be more prevalent as a result?
Enter Karen Brinson Bell. Rep. Holly Grange, R-New Hanover described her as “a Democratic political activist who lives in South Carolina to exert partisan control over our state’s elections systems.”
NOW SHE IS TARGETING NC HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS
The House Freedom Caucus has been the leading voice in the General Assembly, led by Kidwell, to insist on pursuing transparency over the election, based upon the concerns of citizens that have been logged coming into the General Assembly.
Kidwell says he wants nothing more than to prove to the people that their concerns are taken seriously and that Brinson Bell is preventing that process.
Kidwell maintains that the machine makers are cooperating and, in a press conference earlier in July, even “eagar” to show citizens their transparency.
Bottom line: North Carolina seems ripe for a battle over voter and election integrity between Kidwell and Binson-Bell.
Going down a rabbit hole:
Marc Elias met with Brinson Bell to help shift voting laws in North Carolina away from the General Assembly, bypassing the legal process.
“North Carolina has been on the razor’s edge of turning blue for some time now. For many years, Virginia was, as well. Once it flipped, it flipped hard. I expect you’ll see something similar happen in North Carolina.”https://t.co/PeW0tt49Xf
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) January 28, 2021
Public Information Officer for the State Board of Elections, Partick Gannon, told me that they had received the letter and they will respond.
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Author: Kari Donovan
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