Election data irregularities remain rampant in NC

Analysis by David W. Goetze

Special to WorldTribune, Dec. 16, 2019

I have now completed the data analysis for the November 5th, 2019 Municipal Election held recently in North Carolina.

In all, 92 Counties of the 100 Counties had elections for local positions. So it quickly became very obvious that something was wrong when the State Board of Elections excluded the status of 52 out of those 92 Counties from their Official County Status Report. As you can see, they report the status of only 40 Counties. It is a complete mystery why the record is not complete.

Graphic. For full size, click on ‘Graphic’ link in the article.

That report also shows that a few counties made their final upload and declared their results to be “Final and Official” prematurely, on Nov. 13 and 14. By state law, the canvass is to be conducted 10 days after an election, so that would be on Nov. 15. By-mail ballots mailed by Election Day from overseas addresses are entitled to the full 10 days to be received back in NC and be counted.

Yet these counties went ahead and declared they were done. The record also shows that not all ballots mailed out to overseas addresses had been received back by that time.

Provisional ballots which are sealed in an envelope when cast are not supposed to be opened until after the local Board of Elections has voted to approve them or not during the Nov. 15 canvass. Yet the records show votes being awarded to candidates as early as Nov. 8, as the top 30 lines from 5 counties in this graphic shows (See Graphic).

By the 14th, the day before the canvass, that number of premature lines of votes grew to 19 counties and 268 lines of results so there is clearly a problem with the lack of oversight by the State Board.

Related: Scrutiny of NC voting data raises questions that remain unanswered, March 25, 2019

This is critical because one race in Watauga County in the mountains actually reversed an initial outcome when the provisional ballots were awarded — prior to the canvass date. In fact, what made that even more unusual was that of the three towns in that county holding elections that day, all of the provisional ballots were in only one of those towns, the one that flipped because of them. And if that isn’t enough, the data for all 91 of the provisional ballots allegedly cast because the voter voted in the wrong precinct all show they voted in the correct one, and still nothing raises a flag in Raleigh.

Why? Because they don’t even look at this data in this way as a matter of routine. In fact, they hardly look at any of the data unless someone files a protest. But that is where the system is rigged against us.

You only have 10 days following an election to file a protest. That’s all well and good except that much of this data on which a substantial protest could be mounted is not reported to the public until the day before the canvass, leaving little time to even begin the analysis of it to discover what may appear worthy of a protest!

Interestingly, even for those counties who reported their final results 2-3 days prematurely, the status of those ballots did not change in the report until the morning of Nov. 16. Who sat on this data for 3-4 days before reporting it to the public and why?

It is also now well-documented that the state board continues to be in violation of state law.

The counties have 30 days following an election to submit an amended Results Report that sorts all of those votes originally reported by voting method (absentee, provisional, transfer, etc…) according to the actual precinct of the voter where it was cast.

The last time the state board compiled and reported this was for the general election in 2016. Yet not once in the 12 elections held in NC since that time have they complied with that mandate.

I continue to brief members of the NC legislature on these findings but they have been consumed with the new budget, court-ordered redistricting and overriding gubernatorial vetoes of much needed legislation and are now in recess until the new year. They will return to Raleigh on Jan. 14 to conclude the regular session, and then return in May for the short session to tweak the budget for the next year.

What is now clear is that if they do not take on the issue of election fraud in January, nothing will be done to correct any of it in time for the 2020 election cycle.

David W. Goetze, Major (Ret), U.S. Army Military Police Corps. is an international business development consultant who has been analyzing election results in North Carolina in recent years as part of what he considers his civic duty.