The John Locke Foundation organization, including the Carolina Journal, was recently subpoenaed in the lawsuit filed by left-leaning Democracy NC, NC Black Alliance, and the League of Women Voters North Carolina. They are perennially litigious groups that target policy from the Republican legislature, and are now suing the State Board of Elections members to stop the implementation of part of Senate Bill 747, Election Law Changes.
To refresh your memory, this law passed the state’s elected legislative branch during the 2023 session. It would make Election Day the deadline for absentee votes and clarifies requirements that convicted felons serve their entire sentence, including probation and restitution, before voting rights are restored. It also bans private money, like “Zuck Bucks,” in the administration of elections.
However, this lawsuit targets a separate provision in SB 747 that establishes the process for verifying same-day voter registration. Under this law, same-day registration voters present a photo ID, like everyone else, along with proof of address. Their ballots are counted unless election officials determine that their presented address is not correct, should a verification form coming back as “undeliverable” by the US Postal Service. If that happens, their registration and ballot are removed from the final canvass of the election. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill, and the Republican-led General Assembly overrode his veto. Election officials already verify all other registrations through verification mailings.
Why would a non-partisan, state-based public policy think tank be of interest to those looking to overturn that law? Because the 2024 election season is underway, and the left is organized.
The subpoena took care to request any notes and research from Dr. Andy Jackson, director of Locke’s Civitas Center for Public Integrity, from his March article exposing a certain election policy loophole. His piece, “How 1,760 ‘Ghosts’ Voted in the 2020 Election,” made public a loophole that prevented those who register and vote on the same day from being verified as eligible voters before counties counted their ballots and finalized an election. The NCSBE was long aware of the issue and warned local boards of elections about it in a 2016 memo.
Our organizational work dovetails into state policy in a way that makes us an influential piece of the puzzle. While it draws attention and occasionally subpoenas, we are proud of the daily effort of our entire team and make no apologies for the footprint our small group has made in a state dominated by hundreds of left-leaning policy groups.
The John Locke Foundation is singularly focused on researching and enacting healthy public policy that allows North Carolinians to flourish in a free and prosperous society, free to grow their businesses and raise their families without government overreach or political manipulation. By extension, the Carolina Journal covers policy and the political ecosystem that creates it with fact-based reporting and analysis informed by the core principles of personal liberty and a free market.
It is clear that we are in their way, and you are too.
By remaining engaged and informed, North Carolinians are aware of the left’s effort to use the judiciary to accomplish what they have been unable to at the ballot box. Of course, the John Locke Foundation responded appropriately to the subpoena, providing the information requested. It is our responsibility. However, ultimately, our goal is to ensure that constitutional government remains the cornerstone of society, and we believe the integrity of the ballot box is sacred. We will continue to research and advocate for policy that provides a means to those ends.
Clearly, we are over the target and taking flak. This is just the beginning of a long 2024 election season, and it will only heat up from here.
As a Carolina Journal reader, you are in the right place at the right time.