Update of AFP Investigation from NCSBE

official complaint from NCDP

Today I was able to speak with the North Carolina State Board of Elections' official public information officer - Joshua Lawson. Although it took some effort to get in touch with him, Mr. Lawson was extremely mannerly, and helpful in answering my questions about the recent allegations of Americans for Prosperity committing voter fraud. I was quickly provided with all the public documentation on record about the case including the official notice of complaint addressed to Americans for Prosperity from the NCSBE, the official complaint letter from the NCDP, as well as a copy of the mailer that is in question.

Joshua informed me immediately that we have not yet heard an official response from the Americans for Prosperity. Also, he agreed with me that today is the deadline imposed on AFP by NCSBE Director Kim Strach for AFP to respond to the allegations. According to him, the deadline is simply a chance for AFP to respond to the allegations, and comply with the process of investigation. Therefore, not meeting the demands of Director Strach will in no way incriminate AFP. Instead, the investigation will proceed, acknowledging AFP did not originally cooperate.

One piece of valuable information I learned was that we do know now that AFP has sought counsel, in the form of Raleigh Attorney Roger Knight (a known associate of NC conservative advocacy groups). Lawson also made clear to me that this investigation is indeed a criminal investigation (with possible criminal implications), and it is the jurisdiction of the NCSBE to investigate the suspected violation of election law. The applicable statue invoked by the NCDP in the official complaint is as follows:

§ 163-275. Certain acts declared felonies.
Any person who shall, in connection with any primary, general or special election held in this State, do any of the acts or things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class I felony. It shall be unlawful:

(17) For any person, directly or indirectly, to misrepresent the law to the public through mass mailing or any other means of communication where the intent and the effect is to intimidate or discourage potential voters from exercising their lawful right to vote.

One last interesting note is that the investigation will proceed tomorrow with or without a response from AFP. However, the awaited response from AFP will be the last piece of public information revealed, until after the case is closed. Therefore, the public may never know the specifics of AFP's targeting tactics or intent, if the NCSBE chooses to recommend that the case not be prosecuted.

Note: I am happy to provide the documents that Mr. Lawson provided to me, or direct anyone to the proper place to find more information. Please just contact me at blake.mizelle@gmail.com.

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Comments

Thanks for the update, Blake

Although I have little confidence the BOE will do much more than scold AFP for "not paying attention to detail" or some other equally milquetoasted language.

Blake, have you heard

Blake, have you heard anything about a public hearing, or if their 'investigation' is a part of a meeting?? I try to attend their public meetings and would want to sit in on any announcements or such.

Nothing yet

Vicki, I haven't heard anything suggesting there will be any kind of public hearing. In fact, from what I know, it seems that a large part of the investigation itself will be behind closed doors.

Blake Mizelle

Not to quibble...

....but the statute reads that it shall be unlawful for any PERSON.... AFP is not a person...well...except for the free speech thing, I'm just sayin...

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