They came for the My Pillow guy, they stayed for conspiracy theories about voter fraud

On the eve of Tuesday’s primary, Surry County Commissioners welcomed a packed house of citizens in Dobson, worried about the next election.

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, a Trump loyalist known for spreading false election-related conspiracy theories, was listed prominently on the agenda as a speaker who would address “election integrity.”

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

But Lindell was a no-show.

Instead, commissioners heard from David Clements, a former New Mexico State University college professor. Clements is no stranger to misinformation either. He lost his job at the university last fall after he refused to wear a mask on campus or get vaccinated against COVID-19. He has also publicly stated that he “stands with” Lin Wood — the controversial QAnon-linked, conspiracy theorist attorney.

“November 3, 2020 just didn’t make sense, and I want to plant the seed because the question you have to have for yourselves is, ‘What authority do we have to do anything?'” Clements began.

Clements told commissioners they had the authority to inspect and decline the adoption of  voting machines.

“The other question you’re going to have to wrestle with is your jurisdiction. The state election board, the county election board, and you all have concurrent jurisdiction. Y’all have different powers to check and balance one another, but at the end of the day, it’s the county that issues the certificate for those local elections,” said Clements.

The State Board of Elections has frequently decried (and taken multiple steps to debunk) unsubstantiated conspiracy theories concerning elections in North Carolina. A page on the board’s website is entitled “Combating Misinformation”; it reads in part:

Misinformation can lead to confusion and erode the public’s trust in elections. We aim to educate and serve as a trusted source of election information through our social media posts. View all of our “Mythbuster Monday” series posts at the Mythbuster Archive.

For trusted election information, follow the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. To stay in the loop on recent press releases, election news, upcoming election dates, and deadlines, subscribe to our e-newsletter, Election Connection.

Mark Cook, a self-described “cybersecurity IT expert,” was the next to weigh in at Monday’s meeting. He told commissioners hackers and malware are making voting systems increasingly vulnerable. Read more

Are the walls starting to close in on Mark Meadows?

Mark Meadows – Image: CSPAN)

There was new evidence yesterday that the sordid and hypocrisy-laced saga of former North Carolina Congressman and Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows could be heading toward at least one of the ignominious conclusions it so richly deserves.

As you may have heard by now, election officials in Macon County have removed him from the state’s voter rolls after learning that he voted in Virginia in the 2021 election. The news comes on top of last month’s remarkable revelation that when Meadows voted a North Carolina absentee ballot in the 2020 election, he did so based on having registered at an address at which he never lived, and may never have even visited.

As Ed Kilgore writes for New York magazine’s Intelligencer website, the new information adds more fuel to hypocrisy-based fire that’s been consuming Meadows’ career of late:

Did Meadows just forget to notify Macon County that he no longer “lived” in the trailer home he may have never visited? A lot of people do move from state to state without going through the trouble of dropping their old registration, though not many of them go to the further trouble of re-registering with a dubious address in the state from which they have moved. Additionally, you might figure there is an extra burden of care in such matters for a man who said this (as the Washington Post reported) about a month before he re-registered in North Carolina at the trailer-home address:

“I don’t want my vote or anyone else’s to be disenfranchised. … Do you realize how inaccurate the voter rolls are, with people just moving around. … Anytime you move, you’ll change your driver’s license, but you don’t call up and say, hey, by the way I’m re-registering.”

The irony is that Meadows apparently did re-register, but in two different states.

Just to make the whole situation even more absurd, Meadows’ wife Debra is still registered to vote at the rundown cabin in Scaly Mountain.

The bottom line: Meadows’ outrageous behavior is just the latest in a long line of incidents in which politicians of the right who rail about “voter integrity” have shown themselves to be opportunistic, “do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do” hypocrites for whom the real goal is suppressing the votes of disfavored groups, not faithful adherence to the law. Happily, a State Bureau of Investigations inquiry into the matter remains ongoing.

As Raleigh Congresswoman Deborah Ross tweeted yesterday:

When the voting fraud investigation is paired with his waist-deep involvement in Trump’s traitorous effort to overturn the 2020 election, it seems hard to imagine that Mr. Meadows won’t, like so many of Trump’s lackeys, be spending a great deal of time during the remainder of 2022 trying to fend off federal and state prosecutors.

Elon Poll: In wake of Ninth District case, N.C. voters call election fraud a “major problem”

A new poll from Elon University finds more than half of N.C. voters surveyed consider election fraud a “major problem” in the state.

The poll was conducted this week in the wake of the dramatic hearings over alleged ballot fraud in the ninth congressional district,

“Now months out from the tainted 9th District election, North Carolina voters are broadly skeptical of elections in the state,” said Jason Husser, director of the Elon Poll and associate professor of political science, in a statement on the results. “A majority of the electorate has clear concerns about the fairness of future elections and the extent of fraud.”

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