NCGOP Gets Huge Win for Transparency with At-Large Poll Observer Win
October 13, 2022
For Immediate Release
RALEIGH, NC - Today, voters across the Tarheel State gained a vital win in Wake Superior Court for ensuring the integrity of our upcoming Midterm elections. Earlier this year, the NCGOP, RNC, and the Clay County GOP Chair filed suit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections (“State Board”) asking the Court for a declaratory judgment regarding at-large poll observer restrictions and the extended absentee by-mail deadline. Following the initial complaint, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction.
Placing the rule of law over partisanship, Judge Rozier halted the State Board from continuing to attempt to play the role of the legislature. The hyper-partisan State Board has made a habit of circumventing the General Assembly by twisting, and in some cases, completely changing the meaning of North Carolina election laws. Judge Rozier put a temporary halt to that habit today by granting the motion to preliminarily enjoin the State Board from enforcing their imaginary 4-hour restriction on at-large poll observers. Such a restriction is found nowhere in the poll observer statute, rather, it was created by the State Board’s administrative rule.
This is a tremendous win for counties, both small and large. It can be difficult to recruit volunteers to serve as observers, which is why the General Assembly created the role of at-large observers who are able to fill in the gaps by going from voting location to voting location throughout the day.
Judge Rozier also ruled on two other of the Plaintiff’s requests: (1) allowing multiple at-large observers in the voting enclosure at one time; and (2) returning the absentee by-mail deadline to November 11, 2022. While Judge Rozier ruled contrary to our arguments, his ruling only applied to the motion for preliminary injunction. A hearing on the merits of the claims will be heard at a later date.
“Transparency is critical when it comes to the election process,” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. “In upholding the rule of law and ensuring opportunities for at-large observers, this ruling is a win for the voters of North Carolina.”
The NCGOP will continue fighting for election integrity and transparency measures that make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat.