ONLY ONE CASE OF A VOTER IMPERSONATING ANOTHER VOTER: But while voter fraud is rare, it does sometimes happen. How much is an unknown question, since there’s no nationwide data, and almost no state data, either. North Carolina, in fact, is perhaps the only state in the country to track such data. North Carolina compiled a voter fraud audit after the 2016 elections. Officials didn’t repeat it after the 2018 elections — although they did stop an alleged fraud scheme in Bladen County to help a Republican congressional candidate. In the state’s audit of the 2016 elections, North Carolina documented 508 allegations of voter fraud. That’s about 0.01% of the 4.8 million votes cast. Officials said that even if every allegation turned out to be true, no election results would have changed. And only one case out of those 508 was of someone impersonating another voter at the polls — which is the kind of fraud that voter ID would stop.
FLOYD MCKISSICK RETIRES FROM NC SENATE TO TAKE SEAT ON NCUC: Durham should have a new state senator when the General Assembly goes back into session next week. Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, whom Gov. Roy Cooper appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission last year, formally resigned his Senate seat Tuesday. Local Democratic Party officials plan to meet Sunday and pick a replacement to finish his term, and Cooper is expected to quickly appoint that nominee to the seat. The legislature goes back into session next Tuesday, and Senate Democrats said they expect to have McKissick's replacement in place. Republicans still hope to overturn Cooper's long-standing veto of last year's state budget, and every vote counts. The GOP needs just one Senate Democrat to vote with them – or two Democrats to be absent – to have the numbers they need to complete the override and pass their version of the budget.
2,500 MARINES FROM CAMP LEJEUNE DEPLOYED TO MIDDLE EAST: As tensions rise in the Middle East, more North Carolina troops are being sent to the region. Around 2,500 Camp Lejeune Marines are being redirected to the Mediterranean Sea, according to the Marine Corps Times. WITN reports hundreds of Marines aboard the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit ended their planned exercise with the Moroccan military to be redirected to the Mediterranean Sea. An official told the Marine Corps Times the unit canceled its plans for Exercise African Sea Lion, and instead, the troops will be attached to the United States' 6th Fleet while it is in the Mediterranean. The unit is a special operations capable, air-ground task force, whose role is a crisis response. The latest deployment means at least 6,500 service members have been sent to the Middle East from North Carolina in the past five days, and the Jacksonville community is closely following developments there to see if any more troops will be needed.
IRAQI PRIME MINISTER GOT PHONE CALL FROM IRAN AS ROCKETS WERE LANDING AT BASES: Iraq’s prime minister said Wednesday that Iran notified his office of the impending military action against U.S. targets in Iraq early Wednesday, just as the U.S. military reported that attacks were beginning. “Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, 8/1/2020, we received an official oral message from the Islamic Republic of Iran that the Iranian response to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani had begun,” said a statement from Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s office. “And at the same time, the American side called us and rockets were falling on the American forces’ quarters at Ein al-Asad base in Anbar and Harir in Irbil and in other locations,” the statement said. No casualties have been reported, the statement said. The prime minister called on all parties to exercise restraint and respect Iraqi sovereignty. Abdul Mahdi has condemned the killing of Soleimani as an “assassination,” saying that the departure of U.S. and other foreign troops from Iraq is now the only way to de-escalate tensions.
UKRAINIAN PASSENGER JET (BOEING) CRASHES IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKEOFF FROM TEHRAN AIRPORT: A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 airliner carrying at least 176 people crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday, killing everyone on board. It was unclear what caused the crash of the aircraft, a Ukraine International Airlines flight bound for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Early statements from both countries were confused and contradictory. The disaster happened against the backdrop of the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, which on Tuesday fired missiles at two bases in Iraq that house American troops, but there was no immediate indication that the plane had been shot down or otherwise attacked. Iranian news organizations tied to the government referred to technical problems with the plane, but they did not elaborate or cite any evidence. Later, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, Ali Abedzadeh, told the semiofficial Mehr News Agency that so far, there was no evidence of technical problems. The disaster has the potential to add to the crisis at Boeing, which has been dealing with the fallout from two crashes involving a different model of jet.