Saturday, December 5, 2020

‘Hardest thing I’ve completed’ — North Carolina elections director blocked her deceased mother’s poll

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The integrity of the 2020 election grew to become particularly private for Brunswick County Elections Director Sara Knotts on Friday when she needed to ask her elections board to reject her mom’s poll.Knotts felt obligated to do that as a result of her mom had submitted an absentee poll in September, then died on Oct. 11, a number of weeks earlier than the Nov. 3 Election Day.North Carolina election legislation requires voters to be alive on Election Day. This contains voters who forged their ballots early by mail-in absentee poll or by way of in-person early voting.The Brunswick County Board of Elections voted unanimously to take away the absentee poll of 62-year-old Anne Ashcraft of Winnabow as a result of she was deceased as of Nov. Three and subsequently not certified to take part within the election..Brunswick County Director of Elections Sara Knotts (left) together with her mom, Anne Ashcraft. Knotts needed to have her county Board of Elections reject her mom’s absentee poll for the 2020 common election as a result of her mom died after she submitted it. North Carolina legislation says absentee and early voters should be alive on Election Day for his or her ballots to be counted.“Hardest thing I’ve done as an elections administrator: present a challenge against the absentee ballot cast by my mom,” Knotts tweeted Friday afternoon.’100 % useless’: Court ruling might torpedo some lawsuits difficult Trump’s lossAshcraft died of a mind most cancers referred to as glioblastoma, Knotts mentioned. This is similar most cancers that killed Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Beau Biden, son of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.“Honestly, when she was voting her ballot, she was under hospice care. So I knew that she may not be alive on Election Day,” Knotts mentioned on Monday.She added that she briefly thought-about encouraging her mother to not vote — “just for, to not to have the red tape” — however Knotts knew that voting was necessary to Ashcraft.Hardest factor I’ve completed as an elections administrator: current a problem in opposition to the absentee poll forged by my mother. In NC, the {qualifications} to vote are judged on election day. She handed away from glioblastoma after submitting her poll however earlier than Nov 3. #electionintegrity— Sara Knotts (@SaraKnotts1) November 13, 2020“So I just kept my mouth shut,” Knotts mentioned, and by no means informed her mom in regards to the election legislation that would get her poll eliminated.Story continues“But I knew after she submitted it that if she passed away, I was going to challenge it,” Knotts mentioned. “Just because I know how contentious this election was, and how much the talk in the media was about how you can’t trust the election process. I think just to maintain the integrity, I knew I was going to have to remove it if she passed away before Election Day.”Wait, what?: Winner of NC faculty board election indicators petition for his personal elimination from workplaceBoard takes caseAshcraft’s poll was accepted on Sept. 29, 12 days earlier than she died.When the Brunswick County Board of Elections took up Ashcraft’s poll on Friday, Knotts stepped apart and had one other elections workers particular person current the case.Board members on Friday praised Knotts for her honesty simply earlier than they took the vote.“For the folks in the audience, and perhaps for the press: You might not have had recognized the name of ‘Sara Anne Ashcraft.’ It’s Sara’s mother. And Sara actually brought this challenge,” mentioned Board Member Randy Pelton. “And I think that speaks volumes to her integrity and the integrity of the elections staff here in Brunswick County. Thank you very much for your burden, Sara.”Chairman Boyd Williamson mentioned he was proud to be related to Knotts and the workers.The feedback cheered Knotts, she mentioned, after seeing so many individuals bad-mouth elections employees and the method.“It’s hurtful when members of the public try to undermine what we do by saying things they don’t fully understand,” Knotts mentioned.She mentioned she was decided to keep away from offering any ammunition to the critics who allege useless persons are voting.“I was like: I am not going to let my mom’s voting become something that people use to say that my office is not — you know — fully transparent, and that we allow things like that to happen. I just couldn’t do it,” Knotts said.Nine other Brunswick County ballots were challenged and rejected on Friday.Knotts said some people had voted twice. A couple may have been confused on whether their absentee ballots had been counted, she said, and another appears to have dementia.A voter missed a residency deadline to qualify to vote in this election, Knotts said, and some voted while on parole for felony convictions. State law says felons can’t vote until their punishment, including probation or parole, is complete. But a judge recently ruled that some felons in North Carolina — though not all — are allowed to vote while on probation or parole.More: Four maps that show how America voted in the 2020 election with results by county, number of votersChange the law?The question has come up before on whether North Carolina should count the ballots of people who die before Election Day after they lawfully cast their ballots in early voting or via absentee ballot.In 2014, election officials in Forsyth County had to reject the absentee ballot of Everette Harris — father or Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Harris — because Everette Harris had died after submitting his ballot, WRAL reported.After the May primary, then-N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, who Mark Harris had run against in the May primary, tried to pass a law to ensure that these ballots would be counted. Tillis (who now is in the U.S. Senate and won reelection on Nov. 3) called his proposal the “Absentee Ballot/Everette Harris Act.”The invoice handed the state House 115-Zero and was despatched to the state Senate, the place it was buried in a committee with out ever getting a listening to.Senior North Carolina reporter Paul Woolverton will be reached at pwoolverton@gannett.com and 910-261-4710.This article initially appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: North Carolina elections director blocked her useless mom’s vote

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