Lawmakers to Stein, Bell: Put This Controversy Behind Us and Follow the Law

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Raleigh, N.C. — A few hours ago, the N.C. State Board of Elections sent its third set of conflicting rules in six weeks to county boards. In a letter, this afternoon, Sens. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell), Warren Daniel (R-Burke), and Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) urged Attorney General Josh Stein and Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell to drop their attempts to rewrite state law in the middle of the election.

The full letter is below and can also be found here.

Dear Attorney General Stein and Executive Director Brinson Bell:

We write to request that you immediately withdraw your pending motion before Judge Bryan Collins seeking approval of a secret settlement agreement that violates state law and a federal judge’s order.

Enough damage has been done already. Enough confusion and chaos has engulfed the election process and your actions have created unnecessary burdens on voters.

Your excuse for subverting absentee ballot fraud protections while voting is underway was rejected by Judge William Osteen yesterday afternoon. He wrote, “Notwithstanding the fact this court upheld the one-witness requirement and limited the due process remedy to those defects which were subject to remediation, it now appears that on Sept. 22, 2020, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has eliminated the one-witness requirement under the guise of compliance with this court’s order.”

You know full well that bipartisan supermajorities in the legislature agreed months ago on the law that would govern this election, and Gov. Cooper signed it within 24 hours. Your decision to change those laws while the election is actively underway has created chaos and confusion, and you’ve added to it by issuing three conflicting sets of guidance in the past six weeks. The victims are the voters themselves.

Please put this matter behind us by withdrawing your pending motion before Judge Collins. This election can still move forward fairly and securely under the laws enacted months ago by bipartisan supermajorities in the General Assembly. Stop trying to change those laws in the middle of the election.

The official Medium account for N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office.

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