GOP Lawmakers Push Constitutional Amendment to Deadlock Elections Board Just After Election Fraud was Reported to NCGOP
In the days following the May 2018 Republican primary for the 9thCongressional district seat campaign staff for Robert Pittenger reported concerns of ballot irregularities to the NCGOP and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Incumbent Rep. Pittenger lost the Republican nomination for the 9thDistrict seat to Mark Harris by just over 1,000 votes. Instead of investigating results, GOP leaders focused on continuing their ongoing battle for control of the NC State Board of Elections and Ethics.
In June 2018 Republican legislators proposed a constitutional amendment that would enshrine an eight-member board of elections enforcement in the NC Constitution. Fortunately, voters saw through a deeply partisan and thinly veiled attempt at tilting the balance of power even further toward the Republican supermajority and NCGOP and rejected this amendment on their ballots in November.
It is worth noting that shortly after receiving reports of election fraud that would have been under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections and Ethics, Republicans attempted to force through another plan to create a deadlocked board, leaving the government “more vulnerable to corruption.”
Instead of investigating reports of absentee-ballot irregularities in their own primary, Republicans chose to give themselves the power to pick members of the Board charged with investigating such fraud. Moreover, they attempted to enshrine in the State Constitution an Elections Board ripe for deadlock and therefore unable to make decisions on investigationsinto exactly the type of irregularities the NCGOP knew were occurring in Bladen County.