It’s an open secret that North Carolina Republicans really don’t like it when Democrats vote, which is why four federal rulings this year alone have found N.C. voting-related laws to be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
But a coordinated voter suppression effort is something you talk about over the phone, behind closed doors at the General Assembly, or maybe over a nice bowl of mayonnaise with your buddies. That conversation isn’t really meant for an email blast that is mistakenly sent to a Democratic activist or can easily be accessed via a public records request.
That, however, is exactly what has happened. The Nationpublished a piece on Monday about the brazen attempt by Republican-controlled county boards of elections around the state to circumvent the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal’s July ruling striking down the state’s voter ID law. And yesterday, Watauga County Democratic activist Pamela Williamson published, on Facebook, the text of an “update” email she mistakenly received from Woodhouse. (“Hey! This is fun! Guess I’m an ‘unintended recipient,’” she wrote cheekily in her Facebook post.)
Here’s what it says, emphasis ours.
Below are some updates our Executive Director, Dallas Woodhouse, has asked me to share with you. Hope you all are having a blessed Sunday!
Please be aware of some important updates since my last email. I ask you to read it closely.
Democrats are mobilizing for a fight over early voting locations and times. They are filling up election board meetings and demanding changes that are friendly to democrats and possibly voter fraud.
Republicans should fight with all they have to promote safe and secure voting and for rules that are fair to our side.
A couple of important points:
County Board of Elections (BOE) do not have to be unanimous in making early voting changes. Republicans can and should make party line changes to early voting.
Democrats are mobilizing to fill this weeks board of election meetings. Past experience suggests these meetings will be loud and hostile. Our Republican Board members should feel empowered to make legal changes to early voting plans, that are supported by Republicans.
We need to fully support our County BOE members as they make important decisions that follow the law and support republican positions.
-North Carolina Republican Party
Disclaimer: The content of this message and all attachments are subject to NC Public Record Law. According to the law all information except the property of a private individual is considered public record and subject to disclosure upon request to third parties without prior notification. If you are not the intended recipient of this message contact the sender immediately and delete the message from your files. Thank you for your cooperation.
Last week, Woodhouse’s cousin, Eddie Woodhouse, was named to the Wake County Board of Elections under rather controversial circumstances. Eddie immediately tried to ban early voting on Sundays and was a deciding vote in restricting early voting for the extra seven days that the court restored to just one polling location in the county.
This email wasn’t the only time Dallas embarrassed himself yesterday, either; he also got into a Twitter argument with N.C. Democrats, where he told a few whoppers.
The Fourth Circuit—not the North Carolina Democratic Party—blocked the voter ID law. The North Carolina Democratic Party didn’t block anything, and it hasn’t blocked anything since 2012 because it’s utterly powerless in the state legislature. Also, the voter ID law didn’t expand early voting opportunities. That’s, uh, wrong. As Ari Berman wrote in the aforementioned Nation piece:
After the Fourth Circuit court reinstated a week of early voting, GOP-controlled county elections boards are now trying to cut early-voting hours across the state. By virtue of holding the governor’s office, Republicans control a majority of votes on all county election boards and yesterday they voted to cut 238 hours of early voting in Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, the largest in the state. “I’m not a big fan of early voting,” said GOP board chair Mary Potter Summa, brazenly disregarding the federal appeals court’s opinion. “The more [early voting] sites we have, the more opportunities exist for violations.”
After Woodhouse was called out for his utterly stupid tweet, he went into meltdown mode.
Woof. On the bright side, at least no one at the NCGOP has accused anyone of wearing a Honduran flag pin this week.