Monday, September 05, 2022

The SBOE Won't Sue the Rules Commission



Because of unspecified problems caused by partisan poll observers during the May primary in North Carolina, the state Board of Elections unanimously passed new, clarified rules about what is allowed in the polling enclosure and what is regarded as intimidation, obstruction, or disruption. The 100% Republican Rules Commission overturned those clarifications under the influence of an election-denying MAGA lawyer named Cleta Mitchell. I hoped at the time that the SBOE would sue to reinstate their new rules.

The SBOE decided not to sue (as explained in the statement SBOE Chair Damon Circosta issued, below). But Circosta wants everyone to know that there are still laws on the books prohibiting obnoxious partisanship in the polling place and that those laws will be enforced in November.

Statement about Safe and Orderly Voting Environment in the 2022 General Election

Raleigh, NC
Sep 2, 2022

The following is a statement from State Board Chair Damon Circosta on maintaining an orderly and safe voting environment for the 2022 general election:

The bipartisan members of the State Board of Elections are united in seeking to ensure that voting is conducted in an orderly fashion this fall, and that no voters experience intimidation. That is why we unanimously approved changes to our rules governing voting places: to head off the types of disruptive behaviors by some poll observers that we unfortunately saw in the May primary, and to provide clear guidance to poll workers on behaviors that are not permitted at the polls.

Last week, the Rules Review Commission disagreed with this State’s elections agency on whether these rule changes were necessary to maintain the integrity of the voting process. The Rules Review Commission lacks the expertise and the authority to determine how to best maintain order at the polls. However, we do not have the luxury of time to go back and forth with the Commission or the courts to ensure that our reasonable rules are put in place before voting begins. We, as elections officials, must focus our attention on preparing for the upcoming election.

To that end, we at the State Board will do everything we can to ensure that the county boards of elections and county poll workers understand their authority and procedures to maintain an orderly and safe voting environment for all voters. It is our duty to the voting public to protect their right to vote, and it will be protected.

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