NC to provide voter data to Trump commission. Why you should worry

elaine marshall trump letter page 1

Trust us they said.  The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is asking all 50 states for troves of voting data including voters’ date of birth and last 4 digits of their social security number.
The more I looked at this, the worse it got. The Commission plans to put the information of approximately 200 million voters  into a single, centralized, national electronic database. This kind of database will be ripe for the hacking, ripe for purging voters, and ripe for political profiling or other uses or abuses by whichever political party is in power.

The request was forwarded to the North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, which will, “provide only the data that’s already public and available under state law,” spokesman Patrick Gannon said in an email (WRAL) The commission, “won’t get the last four digits of people’s Social Security numbers, their dates of birth or their driver’s license numbers.”

Why are election officials, advocacy groups and tech experts concerned? It’s complicated but let me break it down:

#1. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is asking all 50 states for their voting rolls including voters’ date of birth and last 4 digits of their social security numbers to go into a centralized, national electronic database.   

#2.  “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” (per request letter)
This data is already used for political purposes, but could also be used for commercial, marketing or scam and fraud purposes.

#3. This lays the groundwork for a National #Crosscheck system, and a National ID system.

A) Crosscheck:  The Commission’s vice chairman, Kris William Kobach is the Secretary of State of Kansas. As SoS, Kobach set up #Crosscheck Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck so unreliable (falsepositives) FL & OR withdrew.

Kobach’s #Crosscheck flagged 1 in 6 Latinos, 1 in 7 Asian Americans and 1 in 9 African Americans as potential double registrants in states examined.
See Uncovering Kris Kobach’s Anti-Voting History 

B) National ID: Attempts to shoe horn a National ID under auspice of election integrity has been tried before. Back in 2005, the Baker/Carter bi partisan commission recommended the implementation of REAL ID as standard voting card.

C) The ACLU on National ID – A national ID card system would require creation of a database of all Americans

#4. This database will be a highly desirable target to hackers and cannot be secured:
“Kobach clarified that the personal data would be hosted on a secure server run by the federal government and not disclosed to the public.”
See Kris Kobach wants every U.S. voter’s personal information for Trump’s commission

Trump voter-fraud panel’s data request a gold mine for hackers, experts warn
Their concerns stem from a letter the commission sent to every state this week, asking for full voter rolls and vowing to make the information “available to the public.” The requested information includes full names, addresses, birth dates, political party and, most notably, the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The commission is also seeking data such as voter history, felony convictions and military service records.
…Security specialists told POLITICO they were especially perturbed about Kobach’s claim that the commission would publish all the voter data it receives.
…Experts also criticized the commission’s two options for states to submit their data: via a White House email address and a Pentagon-run file-hosting service.
“Email is the worst; it’s like sending all your postal mail using postcards instead of letters in envelope,” Hall said. “It’s one of the harder methods of communication to secure.”

The government already proved it can’t be trusted to protect sensitive personal data including fingerprints. See Hacking of Government Computers Exposed 21.5 Million People – NYT July 9 2015

It’s hard to secure databases from hacking.  It is estimated that in 2015 alone, 707 million records were exposed as a result of data breaches. lists over 2,100 websites which have had their databases breached, containing over 2 billion user entries in total.  See the list

‘Trust Us With More Data,’ Say Government Agencies Hacked By A 16-Year-Old.
The Hacker published the personal information of 20,000 FBI Agents and 9,000 Department of Homeland Security officers

Why is the commission using a military web site for collecting civilian data and why does it give an warning error when launched?

When launching this “safe: site, my chrome browser gives this warning:  When launching this site, my chrome browser gives this warning:
“Your connection is not private.  Attackers might be trying to steal your information from (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID”

EPIC, The Electronic Privacy Information Center – has documented problems including privacy and security issues with a national id database.

“In comments to the TSA, EPIC urged the agency to abandon a proposed information collection plan under the REAL ID Act.. Since adoption of REAL ID, many states have suffered data breaches of DMVs because of criminals seeking REAL ID mandated documents. (Jan. 10, 2017)

#5. Who gets to decide who votes?  Should a politician be in charge of administering, updating or purging voter rolls? Kobach is A former chairman of Kansas Republican Party. He’s also a politician who ran unsuccessfully for Kansas’s 3rd congressional district in 2004 and is running for Kansas State Governor.

Election officials are expected to be fair and impartial administrators who act in a non partisan manner. These officials keep their personal and political views from affecting their decisions.

#6. The Crosscheck database Kobach deployed in his own state isn’t reliable. Yet Kobach wants to do this on a national level?

Per Travis Fain at WRAL: Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said a crosscheck database Kobach markets to root out fraud is riddled with errors. Based on it, Hall said, he’s registered in North Carolina and Ohio because there is another Robert Hall there with whom he shares a birthday.

“It is incredibly stupid and a colossal mistake to create a public national database with sensitive information about voters; it threatens to damage election security and expose millions of Americans to identity theft and untold acts of fraud,” Hall said in an email.

There’s some irony in this too: Kobach…said that the request for the Social Security digits was meant “to prevent false positives,” such as when two people share the same name and birthday.  Via Kansas City Star

Yet, per Washington Post, even “Kris Kobach says he can’t comply with Kris Kobach’s voter data request”

~ post by Joyce McCloy, Director – NC Coalition for Verified Voting

Guilford Co Touchscreen Trouble Reports -Early Voting And Election Day 2016

Did you vote in  Guilford County, North Carolina, and if so did  your vote count?

Here’s a list of voting machine problems reported for Guilford County’s early voting period and on election day.

Nov 8 Precinct G46 Time call received 4:10 Tech name Chris
Specific problem/Comments: Power wire not plugged in.

11-8-16 Precinct G50 Time call received 1:30 PM Assigned to Chris/Daniel
Specific problem/Comments: Calibration of two machines.
Exact error message on machine: Really hard to get machine to respond to anything.
Was machine restored to service? Yes.
If yes, how? Calibration.

Did machine have votes on it? Yes
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No
Were the flash memory cards left at the poling place? Yes.
Time completed 1:55 PM.

11-8-16 Precinct G Time Call received 12:30 Assigned to Chris/Daniel
Machine 5158255  No response from machine.
Specific problem/Comments: machine had froze so we just reset with paper clip and working fine.

Was machine restored to service? Yes
If yes, how? Reset
Was machine removed from polling place?No
Did machine have votes on it? Yes

Was machine closed with master PEB? No

Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? No.
Time completed 12:45

11-8-16 Precinct G54 Time call received 4:5 PM Assigned to Chris/Daniel
Specific problem/Comments: It was saying no RTAL but was just a power issues, bad connection.
Exact error message on machine: No RTAL Printer.
Was machine restored to service? Yes.
Was machine removed from polling place? No.
Did machine have votes on it? Yes.
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No.
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? No
Time completed 5:00 PM

11-8-16 Precinct H-27A Time call received 6:45 PM Assigned to Tim ******
Machine V5159889
Exact error message on machine: No RTAL
Was machine restored to service? Yes
If yes, how? Replaced Frame
Was machine removed from polling place? No.
Did machine have votes on it? Yes.
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No.
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? Yes
Time completed 7:30 PM

11-8-16 Precinct Mor(sp?) 1  Time call received 6:40 AM Assigned to Tim ****
Machine V5160553
Specific problem/Comments: Had to calibrate machine.
Was machine restored to service? Yes
If yes, how? Calibrated
Was machine removed from polling place? No.
Did machine have votes on it? No.
Was machine closed with Master PEB? ——
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? Yes
Time completed 7:00 AM

11-8-16 Precinct G-58 Time call received 7:10 AM Assigned to Tim ***
Machine V5160255
Specific problem/Comments: Machine said a modem (unclear writing) replied machine with V5160485 open polls and they were read to vote.
Exact error message on machine: Modem
Was machine restored to service? No
If yes, how?
Was machine removed from polling place? Yes. (in warehouse)
Did machine have votes on it? No.
Was machine closed with Master PEB?  (no answer)
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? No
Time completed 7:40 AM

11-8-16 Precinct FENI Time call received 8:40 AM Assigned to Tim ***
Machine V5165189
Specific problem/Comments: Kept freezing up. Reset and disabled audio
Exact error message on machine:
Was machine restored to service?  Yes.
If yes, how? Reset and disabled audio.
Was machine removed from polling place? No
Did machine have votes on it?  No
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? Yes
Time completed 9:10 AM

11-8-16 Precinct N Wash Time call received 9:45 AM Assigned to Tim *****
Machine #
Specific problem/Comments: Machine said battery low.
Exact error message on machine:
Was machine restored to service? Yes
If yes, how? They did not have power running to the machine. Got power to them and they all started working.
Was machine removed from polling place? No
Did machine have votes on it? Yes
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? Yes
Time completed 10:25 AM

11-8-16 Precinct JEF3 Time call received 12:25 PM Assigned to Tim *****
Machine V5159770   Paper problem, jam etc
Specific problem/Comments: Paper would not advance
Exact error message on machine:
Was machine restored to service?  Yes
If yes, how? Had to take apart entire printer and took roller out and put it back in.
Was machine removed from polling place? No
Did machine have votes on it? Yes
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? Yes
Time completed 1:30 PM

11-8-16 Precinct H16 Time call received 4:40 PM Assigned to BWR
Machine 5189285   Printer not found by machine
Specific problem/Comments: “Printer not responding halfway through vote. Interupted (sp) vote with error message.”
Exact error message on machine: Error message #8000
Was machine restored to service? Yes.
If yes, how?  (not readable)
Was machine removed from polling place?  No
Did machine have votes on it? Yes
Was machine closed with Master PEB?  No
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? Yes
Time completed 5:21 PM

11-8-16 Precinct __not listed___ Time call received 0625 Assigned to ______
Machine 5157976 Screen problems:
Specific problem/Comments: This machine needs to be calibrated.
Exact error message on machine:
Was machine restored to service? Yes
If yes, how?  No answer given
Was machine removed from polling place?
Did machine have votes on it?
Was machine closed with Master PEB?
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place?
Time completed 7:47 AM

11-8-16 Precinct G-49 Time call received 6:35 Assigned to ______
Machine # ______
Machine will not work with PEB
No response from machine
Specific problem/Comments:
Exact error message on machine:
Was machine restored to service?  Yes
If yes, how? Taken downtown
Was machine removed from polling place? Yes
Did machine have votes on it? No
Was machine closed with Master PEB?
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place?
Time completed

11-8-16 Precinct MON2B Time call received _____Assigned to ____
Machine # _____
Printer not found by machine
Paper problem, jam, etc
Specific problem/Comments: RTL Printer not found on 1 machine (& battery power low). 2nd machine paper kept jamming.
Exact error message on machine:  No RTL Printer Found.
Was machine restored to service?  Yes
If yes, how? Reset button & removed power strip, then plugged into the wall. 2nd machine replaced paper, checked connections & hit reset.
Was machine removed from polling place?  No
Did machine have votes on it? Yes
Was machine closed with Master PEB? No
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place? No
If not, where are they? Still in machines.
Time completed ______

11-8-16 Precinct CG3B Time call received ___ Assigned to ______
Machine 5159585 Paper problem, jam, etc
Specific problem/Comments: paper jammed – replaced paper roll – fixed in house
Exact error message on machine:
Was machine restored to service?  Yes
If yes, how? replaced paper roll
Was machine removed from polling place?
Did machine have votes on it?
Was machine closed with Master PEB?
Were the flash memory cards left at the polling place?
Time completed _________






Mecklenburg Touchscreen Trouble Reports -Early Voting And Election Day 2016

Here’s an overview of voting systems incident reports for Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Board of Elections for early voting and the General Election 2016. I’m still reading through and noting highlights.  Anyone voting on these touchscreens should be worried.

Full Report for Early Voting:
Full Report for Election Day Voting

Overview of Early voting problems:

Ballantyne Precinct 10-20-16 5:30
Voter Panel Paper Roll Jammed
Paper had just been changed on voter machine. First person voting had paper jam as she was going through ballot. We cancelled vote on machine. Paper did not advance to indicate vote cancellation.

Cornelius Precinct 10-20-16 8:30 (pm?)
Voting machine malfunction – voting for one judge removed vote for judge in another race.
Told to recalibrate machine. We did but we also closed it. Machine had been recalibrated at 7 this morning.

Cornelius Precinct 10-20-16 8:20 Am
Voting Panel or Voter.  
Voter first reported that his voting panel gave  a printer error. Machine tech Frank Molinek adjusted a loose paper roll and voting panel appeared to work. Voter almost immediately reported that screen went dark..

Frank moved the voter to another voting panel and he voted…
Did voter vote twice?”

Morrison Precinct 10-21-16 3:45
Accidental Duplication of Vote on Panels.
Voting panel froze on voter. Voter was moved to another panel. Site coordinator attempted to cancel ballot at frozen panel but panel remained frozen.  Machine tech replaced paper roll. Site coordinator again attempted to cancel ballot but screen remained frozen. Site Coord selected “Resume Voting” on screen *& ballot was confirmed. Vote is valid on panel 5163591. Vote is not valid on 5162163.

Morrison Precinct 10-22-16 2:45
Paper Jam. Printer jammed on machine 578984ADA as voter cast and confirmed ballot.  Voter asked to see tape. We declined. She asked that we read her any message on the tape that indicated her vote was accepted. We advised that it is illegible due to jam & then explained that tape was one component of back up to the flash card/memory.

Voter did not seem convinced that if she cast & confirmed her vote on the machine, the vote was recorded.

NCRL Precinct. 10-23-16 4:00
Voter issue with machine.
Voter said that twice she chose a candidate but the check mark appeared in the box by a different candidate’s name. The assistant told her she could select the box again to remove the check and re-select her choice. Voter wrote down the machine number. Voter said she discovered the error both times when she reviewed her ballot  each screen.

Response to the incident at the precinct (completed by person taking the report)
… that possibly the screen/buttons may be more sensitive in some areas and to review carefully.
Voter said she does her “own observations and investigation”
We cleaned the screen and calibrated the machine after this voter left.

Cornelius Precinct. 10-24-16 3:25
Voter complained that voting machine (#516 3316) was not recording her selections. She reported that she had to return to the ballot from the review screen several times. She demanded that the machine be “taken out of service.”

Response to the Incident at the precinct: (completed by person taking the report)
I responded that I would file an incident report and we would pay special attention to that machine. She asked for a copy of incident report. I informed her that I didn’t have a way to make a copy but she was welcome to take a picture with her phone. She said “what’s the point if I don’t get a copy. Screw you” and walked out. I followed her out of the voting enclosure to try to appease her. She took a picture of me and left.
Our machine tech, Pat Cotter  recalibrated the machine.

NCRL Precinct 10-24-16 2:20
Voting machine: ADA 5176349. (Name redacted) motioned me to her machine and said two times she pressed one candidate for president but the Check mark symbol appeared in another candidate’s box. She said she could see her two votes & two cancellations on the paper in the window. She asked me to watch as she tried a third time. This time she wiped her fingers on her jeans then pressed her candidate. This time her choice was correct on the screen & tape.

Response to the incident at the precinct (completed by person taking the report)
I told Voter we could cancel her ballot & move her to another machine. She said no the machine is fine now and seems to be working properly & she would finish on this machine. I told her to review her ballot carefully & let us know of any further problem. She said OK.  Voter was very pleasant and did not appear angry at all. After she left I cleared the screen and recalibrated the machine….

Ballantyne Precinct 10-27-16 12:15
Voter Panel Spool Broke. Voter Panel #5161525 Paper Roll Spool Broke while or after vote. Paper jammed in machine. Voter was moved to another machine. Our machine tech replaced spool and machine started functioning correctly. Unfinished, jammed paper roll included.

Midwood Cultural Ctr 11-01-16 10:30 AM Approx
Voting machine printer jam.
Machine #5189278 jammed while voter #389 (per public count) voted.
Previous voter #388 entries printed properly on tape but intro data line of next voter was the only data that printed. Paper jam prevented remainder of voter #389 data to print and was not retrievable.  Machine techs cleared jam but all paper could not be removed so printer was replaced. Tech supervised first 2 voters on new printer to verify proper function using small paper roll.  After voter #396 small paper roll was replaced with standard paper rolls. Both paper rolls were noted of issues and placed in paper roll bay with similar notes to this included.

Indy Precinct 11-1-16 7:55  (NC Voter note – double voting?)
The last voter voting on machine #5163015 the machine ran out of paper. The voter was placed on another machine #5161504.  When the paper was changed it was discovered that the machine ran out of paper after she had cast her vote. At that point she had already voted on the second machine.

Indy Precinct 11-5-16 2:00 PM
Machine 5163015 shut down early approx 2:00 PM No count called…

Inside North Carolina’s ‘monster’ voting law

Some say the law was designed to block voter fraud, some say it was to block people who vote democratic, and others including a federal appeals court say the law was specifically design to stop black people from voting.

At issue? the ‘monster’ law voting law which set up strict photo ID requirements, reduced early voting, eliminated same day registration and got rid of Sunday voting.

Inside the Republican creation of the North Carolina voting bill dubbed the ‘monster’ law
Washington Post  September 2

A review of these documents shows that North Carolina GOP leaders launched a meticulous and coordinated effort to deter black voters, who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats…

Last month, a three-judge federal appeals panel struck down the North Carolina law, calling it “the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow.” Drawing from the emails and other evidence, the 83-page ruling charged that Republican lawmakers had targeted “African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The Rev. William Barber II, president of North Carolina’s NAACP chapter, said the policies enacted by the law speak for themselves.

“You didn’t hear about fraud in North Carolina until blacks started voting in large numbers,” said Barber, who has also led a series of large protests against the law. “Then all of a sudden, there’s a problem with how people are voting.”

“Look, if African Americans voted overwhelmingly Republican, they would have kept early voting right where it was,” Wrenn said. “It wasn’t about discriminating against African Americans. They just ended up in the middle of it because they vote Democrat.”


Supreme Court blocks North Carolina voter ID law

The Supreme Court was dead locked 4-4, leaving the lower court ruling in place:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016  Associated Press

RALEIGH — A divided U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to reinstate North Carolina’s voter identification requirement and keep just 10 days of early in-person voting.

The decision… means voters won’t have to show one of several qualifying photo IDs when casting ballots in the presidential battleground state. Early voting also reverts to 17 days, to begin Oct. 20.

The court rejected a request by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials to delay a lower court ruling that found the state law was tainted by racial discrimination.

more here

NC GOP Head urge GOP officials to curb early voting – party line changes

This is something to be ashamed of:

AUGUST 18, 2016 6:55 PM
Woodhouse’s gaffe exposes real aim of NC voting law 

“Dallas Woodhouse, exec director of the North Carolina Republican Party urged GOP members of County Boards of Elections to use their majorities to curb early voting, keep polling sites closed on Sundays, close college campus voting sites and in general, to, as he put it, ‘make party line changes to early voting.’”      Read more here:

This is why US voter turnout lags behind most developed countries.

The US ranks 31st in voter turnout “among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, most of whose members are highly developed, democratic states.”

North Carolina’s Phony Voter Photo ID Law

North Carolina’s GOP lawmakers hope to override veto of the voter photo ID bill. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is even using Photo ID as a campaign issue. Greensboro News-Record Editor Doug Clark describes this as sheer “political gamemanship” in   Political Trash Talk   

“That’s all this is about. The concern about voting fraud is phony, contrived, calculated to arouse the gullible.”

Lawmakers KNOW that photo ID won’t stop “voter fraud”. The photo ID legislation has no mechanism to do so. And Rep David Lewis, a key proponent for voter photo ID, admits that in email correspondence with me. 

The Greensboro News and Record has a story on that:

Is that ID on the up and up?
Doug Clark, Editor. Tuesday April 19, 2011

There was a lively discussion on our letters blog today about the proposed Voter ID bill. Supporters of the measure simply can’t understand why anyone would see a problem with requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls.

Joyce McCloy of the N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting didn’t weigh in there, but she forwarded some email correspondence she’s had with legislators. One question she asked was what mechanism the bill creates for election officials to verify whether the ID presented is legitimate. After all, the fake ID industry is thriving.

Today, at the behest of Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, she received a reply from Kara A. McCraw, staff attorney and legislative analyst for the General Assembly’s Research Division. It said:
“HB 351 requires the voter to present a photo ID to the local election official assigned to check registration when the voter enters the voting enclosure.  Voters are currently required to state their name and address, and HB 351 would add the additional requirement that the voter present one of the forms of photo ID listed in the statute.   The bill does not address the issue of “fake” IDs, specify a verification process by the election official, or require other agencies to share databases for verification of IDs.  So Ms. McCloy is correct that the bill does not include a system or funding for verification of the IDs,
and as a result the remaining questions (computer system for ID verification, electronic pollbooks , cost of such a system, security,  etc.) are not addressed in the bill.
“In reviewing the laws of the other 8 states which require photo ID, none appear to have established a process or system to verify whether an ID is fake or not at the polling site.  The challenge procedure in current NC law established under G.S. 163-87 for challenges on election day could still be used to challenge a voter on any of the grounds included in that statute, such as the person is not who they represent themselves to be, even if that voter has presented identification.”
What does this mean? For one thing, election workers will have a much tougher assignment without clear guidelines. Because many of us have driver’s license photos of questionable quality, or that don’t really resemble us, election officials might challenge more voters, which will trigger additional investigation and expense. Responsible election administration might demand that pollworkers undergo training in how to scrutinize IDs, much as bank tellers have to learn how to tell real currency from fake. Yet, they’re also trying to keep voting lines moving.
The bottom line is that an ID in and of itself is not necessarily proof of a person’s identity. People working at the polls, however, will have to make a judgment about the authenticity of each one presented to them. As this law assumes that voter fraud is a significant problem in North Carolina, election workers will be expected to assume many of the IDs they see are phony and they should challenge all those that raise suspicions.
That will include your picture if you had gray hair when your photo was made but you’re a vibrant redhead now. Or if you’ve shaved your beard or added a few pounds. Or if anything else raises a question. Obviously the verification process is going to be highly subjective and predicated on the suspicion that you’re not entitled to vote unless you can prove otherwise.

In Why Photo ID Laws Are Not the Answer,   Thomas Bates with Rock the Vote describes the hurdles a would be “voter impersonator” would have to overcome to commit “voter fraud”: 

  • Travel to the proper polling place for a particular voter whose name and address is memorized
  • Accurately forge the voter’s signature
  • Potentially have to provide other information about the voter (utility bill, last four digits of her Social Security number)
  • Make sure that voter has not already voted absentee or requested an absentee ballot
  • Know that the voter has not moved and re-registered at her new location or hasn’t been removed from the rolls for another reason
  • Know that the voter has not already voted that day and does not plan to vote before the polls close
  • Wait in line to cast a ballot in that voter’s name
  • Risk detection from a poll worker who may know the registered voter
  • Face fines and jail time

All this just to cast one misbegotten vote? Consider that mail ballot fraud is a much more efficient and less risky way to commit election fraud. One fraudster or his/her team can rig more than enough votes to impact the outcome of an election, with far less risk of exposure.

Just like Bob Hall said,  “Voter photo ID bill is a sham, as phony as a three dollar bill.”

The voter photo ID law is just what we don’t like about Big Government. It is costly, complicated, and doesn’t work.  It has the added flaw of disenfranchising masses of legal voters, including the elderly, the rural, women, and disadvantaged whose vote may be their only voice in govt.


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NC Photo ID Bill won’t stop voter fraud, may be unconstitutional, will make mail ballot fraud easier

North Carolina photo ID bill, H351/S352 is everything we hate about Big Government.

1. It is costly.
2. It is complicated.
3. It doesn’t solve the problem it is set up to solve.
4. It creates new problems.
5. It is likely unconstitutional, says NC Ctr for Constitutional Law
6. It is not adequately funded and doesn’t protect vulnerable voters enough so it will be face numerous court challenges 

1. The fiscal note for this bill says it will cost $3.3 million in first year. 
H351/S352 will also cost the DMV income in future years as anyone of voting age who wants a FREE photo ID will be able to ask for and get one, whether they are indigent or not. $3.3 M is lowballing it but this was done by non partisan leg staff. True costs will be higher after courts knock down the law until it is really funded.

2. The bill is very complicated. See for yourself.

3. Photo ID doesnt solve problems it is purported to solve.
a) Requiring Photo ID does not prevent voter impersonation – officials have no way to verify the ID, there is no computer system or database in place that can be accessed to check that the ID is legit. Hence, you can go to E-bay, get a photo ID card kit for around $14.99 with hologram option available – and make several really good fake ID cards.
b) NC drivers licences do not indicate citizenship status, nor whether the person is a convicted felon who hasn’t had their rights restored.
c) the bill won’t stop “dead” people from voting. If a person is still on the voter rolls, then if someone has a good fake ID, then they can impersonate this dead voter. (Reported cases of “dead” voters in fact are people who cast a ballot early or by mail and passed on. Others are cases of reports of dead people on the voter rolls but who haven’t voted. )

4. The photo ID bill makes absentee by mail fraud much easier. This bill, H351/S352 will make it possible for organizations to commit mass wholesale absentee ballot fraud, something that was rare in North Carolina. How? By allowing outside groups to create or fill out forms for absentee ballot voters.
There is always risk of absentee ballot fraud, and there have been instances of investigations and convictions, but it has been rare. Now it will be too temptingly easy for fraudsters to resist, and once the election is over, too late to undo the harm.

H351/352 Photo ID Requirements will be challenged in court because 1) it may not be constitutional and 2)  it doesn’t go far enough to educate voters and provide free accessible ID to voters nor to fund the bill:

5. H351/S352  is likely unconstitutional, says NC Ctr for Constitutional Law
MAR 15, 2011: Justice Orr on the Voter ID requirement of HB351: An Act to Restore Confidence in Government.
…The General Assembly does not have the authority to add “qualifications” for voting, absent a constitutional amendment.  Does the requirement for presentation of a Photo ID constitute a “qualification” for voting?  If it does then I would predict a court would strike the requirement down.

6) H351/S352 Is not adequately funded and doesn’t protect vulnerable voters enough so it will be face numerous court challenges. H351/S352 doesn’t make IDs sufficiently accessible and affordable, and does not provide enough notice or education to current and new voters. 

The Brennan Center for Justice cites three basic principles that must be satisfied to avoid a constitutional challenge of any photo ID law:

“First, photo IDs sufficient for voting must be available free of charge for all those who do not have them.” States cannot limit free IDs to those who swear they are indigent…

“Second, photo IDs must be readily accessible to all voters, without undue burden.”..

“Third, states must undertake substantial voter outreach and public education efforts to ensure that voters are apprised of the law’s requirements and the procedures for obtaining the IDs they will need to vote…”

Photo ID sounds like a good idea, until you think it through and find out that it won’t stop voter fraud but will stop honest or vulnerable folks from voting. Maybe it will “only” be tens of thousands, but the result will be disenfranchising legitimate voters because of their vulnerable circumstances. Worse, this bill, if passed, will facilitate massive mail ballot fraud.

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On Veterans Day, thanking N Carolina State Board of Elections for helping troops vote

Veteran’s Day is a good day to thank the North Carolina State Board of Elections for going the extra mile to help our troops vote. Our troops relocate often and some vote from overseas, so they need more help in updating their registration records and getting a ballot. The State Board of Elections recognized that and asked the Dept of Defense for help. See the request letter below, and DoD press release later.

On Oct 8, 2009 the NC State Board of Elections sent a letter to Robert Gates, Secretary of DOD enlisting their cooperation. They joined Senator Coryn and Senator Schumer in this request. An excerpt:

“I request that the Department of Defense, in its operation of military pay/personnel offices in North Carolina, agree to be designated as a voter registration agency. This designation would allow military citizens helped by your agency to be offered the same voter registration services given by state and county public services agencies to the persons they serve. “

Our elections board also offered the DoD assistance and materials to do so

The Department of Defense agreed and in January 8, 2010 sent out this press release

“The DoD’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) kicked off its training program geared to help voting assistance officers at military bases worldwide at a 2010 Election Year press conferenceJan. 7.
Thousands of voting assistance officers will help an estimated 6 million uniformed and overseas citizens vote absentee.DoD and DoS directives require a voting assistance officer at the unit level and at every embassy and consulate to facilitate this effort…”

This solution will help alleviate some of the problems military voters have in voting. Troops can more easily keep their voter registration updated and get help in obtaining a ballot and getting that ballot returned.

Our military deserve to excercise their right to vote. We thank our state’s election officials for striving to help them.

North Carolina’s election officials, both state and county – are dedicated professionals who deserve our appreciation for making our state one of the best to vote in, and for going the extra mile to help our military vote.

# # #

The North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting is a grassroots non-partisan organization fighting for clean and verified elections. We study and research the issue of voting to ensure the dignity and integrity of the intention of each voting citizen. The NC Voter Verified Coalition has consistently fought for increasing access, participation and ensuring the voter franchise. Contact Joyce McCloy, Director, N.C. Coalition for Verifiable Voting – phone 336-794-1240 website

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North Carolina statewide Instant Runoff election and legal challenges

Updated Sept 20, 2010. Thanks to instant runoff voting, the November 2010 election for North Carolina Appeals has all the potential for a Florida style meltdown. See 13 candidates file for open NC appeals court job AP News August 31, 2010. Instant runoff voting, aka IRV will be used statewide to fill NC Appeals Judge Wynn’s seat and our voting machines can’t tally it. Other contests will use regular election methods. That makes it extra confusing. The possible confusion may impact other contests as voters and poll workers deal with a mixture of voting methods all in one election.

North Carolina will be the beta test for this first statewide instant runoff voting election conducted in the United States. “Instant runoff” elections represent a dramatically different system of how votes are cast, counted and valued. To avoid legal challenges and protect the confidence in elections, the election process must be as transparent as possible. The good news is that the candidates will be lawyers and judges. Wouldn’t it be ironic if this election was tallied by a jury-rigged system? No matter how you cut it, a statewide IRV election will clash with many existing election laws.

Instant runoff voting will be used statewide to fill the NC Court of Appeals seat vacated after Judge Wynn retired. Additionally, North Carolina voters in at least three counties (Buncombe, Cumberland and Rowan) also will use Instant Runoff Voting to decide the winners in three Superior Court races this fall. Under state law (NCGS 163-329), vacancies on the Superior Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court which occur after the primary but more than 60 days before Election Day are filled through an election that allows voters to rank their choices. Here’s the legal code.

The SBoE has a difficult task. It must conduct instant runoff elections for the statewide contest for NC Court of Appeals without compatible voting machines, without a thorough fiscal analysis, and without state funding for implementation and voter education. Voter education is essential, since with 13 candidates, voters 2nd or 3rd choices probably will decide the outcome of the election. Unfortunately, many voters will be unprepared to rank choices, as the state will be spending a paltry $500,000 on voter education for 6.1 million voters. Lack of tallying software means counting could take days or weeks. IRV is not additive so votes can not be tallied at the polling places on election night.

“There are no provisions on ES&S equipment to tabulate
~ Keith Long , Voting System Project Manager for the North
Carolina State Board of Elections Jan 7, 2008

“IRV is not an approved function at the federal or state level of current ES&S software, firmware or hardware. Subsequently, we will work at the direction of the SBE and counties to assist but cannot be held responsible for issues as a result of IRV…

….IRV Tabulation*Printelect and ES&S will only take responsibility for and support tabulating the IRV contests individually.Methods for deciding a runoff winner by others will not be supported by Printelect or ES&S. This risk will be the sole responsibility of NCSBOE and the counties.

*IRV voting tabulation methods are not an EAC or state certified portion of our voting system and have not undergone the testing that would normally be required to receive these certifications. ~ Letter From voting vendor PrintElect to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, dated August 31, 2010

Statewide IRV is dangerous. North Carolina’s only experience in counting IRV votes is in Cary, NC in the October 2007 pilot, and officials were unable to tally just 3,000 IRV votes correctly. Cary has since rejected IRV. Hendersonville has “piloted” IRV in 2007 and 2009, but never has tallied the IRV votes. The NC SBoE admitted that IRV is too risky when mixed with statewide elections:

“Current state law says we must comply with federal regulations…

We can use November 2007 as a pilot and not use IRV in May 2008 because it poses too much of a risk.”

Violating existing election law and standards for voting systems to try to “automate” instant runoff voting with un-certified work-arounds will result in headlines such as we saw in 2004:

“A Florida-style nightmare has unfolded in North Carolina in the days since Election Day, with thousands of votes missing and the outcome of two statewide races still up in the air.”

Legal challenges: No matter how this election is administered, election laws will be broken. It is unavoidable, because IRV clashes with many election laws and standards.

NC Verified’s full comments to the North Carolina State Board of Elections on procedures and risks for upcoming instant runoff voting elections

Outline of comments:

1. There is no software to tabulate IRV that meets the standards of our state law. In guidelines for IRV pilots set by the State Board of Elections in January 15, 2009, the State Board of Elections proposed to use an uncertified method of vote tabulation with DRE machines that allows for an “electronic sort” using uncertified software that requires five pages of over 100 single spaced instructions. Experts warn that this spreadsheet tallying method is error prone, lacks an audit trail, and is not good enough for elections. See Standards for IRV Pilots -Approved by the North Carolina State Board of Elections on January 15, 2009 The voting vendor warns that IRV is not an approved function of our voting systems and has not been federally tested or certified as required by state law.

To comply with existing state law, IRV must be counted manually until IRV software and its accompanying algorithm is federally approved. This is workable with optical scan ballots, but in order to count the touch-screen paper trails, the vendor should be made to modify the software to print a ballot summary. Touch-screens currently print all selections made by voters, but not a final summary. While a simple contest can be recounted on the touch-screen paper trail, an IRV contest would be more laborious. For a simpler process, touch-screen counties could borrow or purchase optical scan machines for IRV elections.

2. IRV ballots cast on election day must be counted where they are cast just as “regular” ballots are counted as per § 163-182.2. Initial counting of official ballots. In Cary, NC – the 2nd and 3rd choice votes cast for the “instant runoff” were not counted on election night. Instead, they were carried away from where they were cast and then counted at a later date. This differs from the treatment of absentee ballots and early voted ballots might be tabulated at the central office, these are “retrievable ballots”, not cast on election day. All votes cast at the polls on election day, including IRV ballots, are to be counted at the polls on election night once the polls close. The solution is to count all votes, 1st, 2nd and 3rd on site using the “Australian” method.

3. State law requires election night reporting for voters’ second and third choices. Law requires reporting of votes on election night. IRV ballots are not retrievable and cannot be reported at another date.

4. All votes must be counted. In free, fair and open elections, all votes are recorded and counted. This means counting all votes, whether 1st, 2nd or 3rd choices. To do otherwise violates a core principle of democracy and tells voters that their choices and votes do not matter. Candidates, voters and officials want to know the breakdown of the votes. Votes must be counted for transparency sake. In the 2007 Pilot program, only partial data was reported for the District B contest where voters’ second and third choices were ultimately counted. In Cary’s other IRV contests for City Council, only some, not all of 2nd or 3rd place data was recorded or reported. In Hendersonville, the IRV votes were never counted or reported.

5. Provisional ballots must be counted before advancing to the 2nd round. In the 2007 IRV pilot, Provisional ballots were not counted until after the 2nd and 3rd choices were counted, and supposedly “added” back in. Since IRV is not “additive”, it is not clear how these votes could possibly be added back in without doing a complete recount.

6. Absentee ballots must be counted before advancing to the 2nd or 3rd round. It is not clear when the absentee ballots were counted, so the question is – were they counted with the first, second and third rounds? They must be counted with the first round of voting before going to the next.

7. Canvassing of all first round votes, absentee and provisional ballots must be done before counting a second round of ballots. This has to be done to get an accurate vote count.

8. Audit protocols will have to be developed in coordination with the state appointed statistician and according to current state laws. Each round of voting must be proven correct if the subsequent round is to trusted. Audits and recounts must be publicly announced and observed, and notice must be given in time for the public to attend.

9. Voter education is expensive, must be repeated, and is not necessarily effective. The results of Cary NC’s 2008 bi-annual citizen survey indicate that 22.0% did not understand IRV at all.

10. Overvote protection lacking. North Carolina state law and the Federal Law, Help America Vote Act requires that voters be notified of over votes. NC’s voting machines are unable to notify the voters if they have “overvoted” in the IRV contests – if voters rank the same candidate more than once. The Help America Vote act defines overvotes: “In every election, some voters make more choices than are permitted in a contest, which creates what are called overvotes.”

With IRV, voters are not permitted to vote for the same candidate more than once in a given contest. To do so, renders their 2nd and 3rd choices invalid.

11 “Instant runoff voting” should be renamed “Ranked Choice Voting”. Instant runoff incorrectly infers that the method provides the same results as a runoff election and does so instantly. It can take days or weeks to get the results of an IRV election.

12. IRV does not guarantee a majority winner. The “instant runoff” contest in Cary, District B City Council in October 2007 was decided with less than a majority of votes.

13. IRV is a difficult way to provide the same results as plurality elections. The fact is that most often, “Instant runoff voting” historically provides the same result as a plurality election, only with more effort.

14. Instant runoff voting is non-monotonic. In other words, you can hurt your preferred candidate by voting for him or her.

15. Exit polls, should be conducted by election officials or impartial groups -not advocates, in order to preserve the appearance of objectivity in the results. Exit polls should be carefully crafted to avoid being push polls. Pierce Co Washington mailed surveys to 91,000 voters, to be completed in the privacy of their homes.
This letter, along with my comments and recommendations set forth in the documents referenced above, and expanded upon in following pages, is my testimony.

The full report at this link:

IRV is not as “easy as 1-2-3” as other jurisdictions have learned.
Forget majority outcomes: if a candidate does not win a majority in the first round, with IRV it is a near impossibility that a candidate can obtain a majority with 2nd and 3rd round votes. This happened in Burlington Vermont in their 2009 mayoral contest. With chance to rank only 3, and since ranking isn’t mandatory, and since there are 13 candidates, the math is against getting a majority win.


Joyce McCloy, Director
NC Coalition for Verified Voting
212 Evergreen Drive, Winston Salem, NC 27106

About us: The North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting is a grassroots non-partisan organization fighting for clean and verified elections. We study and research the issue of voting to ensure the dignity and integrity of the intention of each voting citizen. The NC Voter Verified Coalition has consistently fought for increasing access, participation and ensuring the voter franchise. Contact Joyce McCloy, Director, N.C. Coalition for Verifiable Voting – phone 336-794-1240 website


Order in the court election!
September 5, 2010. BY ROBERT ORR. Raleigh News & Observer
RALEIGH — Thirteen is associated with bad luck, and for North Carolina voters, 13 candidates’ filing for the state Court of Appeals vacancy recently created by Judge Jim Wynn’s move to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is not merely bad luck – it’s downright ridiculous.

Editorial: Judicial election will allow state to test instant runoff
September 4, 2010. Star News Online

Editorial: On the wrong track
September 3, 2010. Greensboro News-Record

Test vote
September 3, 2010. Raleigh News & Observer
Democracy, said the ever-quotable, often-cynical H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” North Carolina voters are about to embark on a journey to democracy’s farther reaches. Here’s hoping the excursion – the first use of statewide instant runoff voting – turns out well.

13 Candidates for Wynn Seat
September 1, 2010. North Carolina Appellate Blog. Bob Numbers.
If no candidate receives the necessary number of first place votes, the two candidates with the greatest number of first place votes advance to the “instant runoff.” In the instant runoff round, each ballot counts as a vote for whichever of the two final candidates is ranked highest by the voter. The candidate with the most votes in the second round wins the election…

Lucky 13
August 31, 2010. Greensboro News and Record. Doug Clark, Editor

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