FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, August 21, 2017

PATRICK GANNON, PIO

email

 

 

 

Former Durham County Elections Worker Indicted

 

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Durham County grand jury on Monday indicted a former Durham County elections worker on charges related to the mishandling of provisional ballot results during the March 2016 primary election.

 

The grand jury returned indictments against Richard Robert Rawling, 59, of Cary, on counts of obstruction of justice, a felony, and failure to discharge a duty of his office, a misdemeanor.

 

Investigators from the then-N.C. State Board of Elections (now called the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement) found that irregularities resulting from Rawling’s actions were not sufficient in number to affect any contest outcomes. It also found no evidence that Rawling altered ballot counts to support a particular political party or candidate.

 

Rather, the investigation determined that Rawling ran or ordered subordinates to run provisional ballots through tabulators more than once and made manual changes to the ballot count so the results of the provisional canvass would match the number of approved provisional ballots. That was done, the investigation found, to avoid having to report to the Durham County Board of Elections a discrepancy in the number of provisional ballots in possession of the Board of Elections and the number counted on canvass day.

 

“The State Board’s top priority is ensuring the integrity of elections so voters have confidence in the process,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. “We will continue to hold accountable elections workers and voters who violate election laws.”

 

Voters cast provisional ballots when there is a question about whether they are eligible to vote in a particular election or contest.

 

Unlike regular ballots, provisional ballots are not run through tabulators at the polling place, but are collected and delivered to the county board of elections to determine whether they should be counted. Provisional ballots deemed acceptable are then run through tabulators on county canvass day.

 

Rawling worked for the Durham County Board of Elections during the March 15 primary, but resigned later that month. When Durham County elections officials notified State Board investigators about the issue in early April 2016, the State Board office opened an investigation. In October 2016, investigators provided a full report to the Durham County district attorney for possible prosecution.

 

Derek Bowens, the former elections director in New Hanover County, took over as Durham County’s elections director in June 2017. This incident occurred under a former director.

 

The destruction of monuments and other objects of remembrance throughout history did not erase the history they represented.

  • In 1944, Nazi Germany destroyed numerous buildings, castles and parks in Poland.
  • From 1959 to 1964, Nikita Khrushchev closed and/or destroyed more than 10,000 mostly-rural churches as part of his anti-religious campaign in the Soviet Union.
  • In 2001, the Taliban destroyed 6th century Buddha statues they declared to be “heretical idols.”
  • ISIS has destroyed countless historical monuments and artifacts. Their acts have been referred to as a “cultural cleansing.”

We are Americans. We preserve our past and our heritage so we may learn from our successes and our failures.

Destruction of monuments dedicated to historical figures and heroes of our past will not delete the history they represent. In fact, their destruction will only divide us further.

Today, the target of cultural cleansing is Civil War and Confederate monuments. If you support destruction of monuments to that part of our shared history, who is to say monuments to a part of history you want to protect won’t be a target tomorrow?

Destruction of monuments is a slippery slope, indeed.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans died during the U.S. Civil War. Monuments and statues across our state commemorate the sacrifices of some 40,000 North Carolinians who died during the war – and the families who sacrificed with them.

In 2015, I voted in favor of a bill that protects all monuments across our state equally from destruction and removal. I stand by that vote, and I will not vote to lessen the protection of monuments should the occasion arise.

If you were to dedicate your time and energy to erecting a monument today, would you want future generations to tear it down in a fit of short-sighted rage? No, you dedicated your time and energy to that purpose because you wanted future generations to remember something significant.

Monuments that our forbearers built should remain so we and future generations may learn from our past.

Willful destruction of property against monuments dedicated to our past and the general lawlessness and violence that surrounded acts of the past week cannot be tolerated. I support the Durham County sheriff’s decision to charge those involved in the destruction of a monument in Durham on Monday.

Gov. Roy Cooper said this week that monuments should come down, and the history they represent belongs in museums and textbooks. If he got his way, removal of that history from textbooks and museums would be next.

You cannot rewrite our history, Gov. Cooper. I will not be party to any attempt to do so.

Michele Presnell

PRESS RELEASE

President Pro Tempore

Senator Phil Berger

919-733-5708

2007 Legislative Building

Raleigh, N.C. 27601

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Amy Auth, 919-301-1737

Shelly Carver, 919-301-1744

April 21, 2017

Berger Responds to State Board of Elections Audit Findings

 

Raleigh, N.C. – Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) responded Friday to a State Board of Elections audit that found more than 500 ineligible votes were cast in North Carolina during the 2016 general election:

 

“We appreciate the State Board of Elections’ efforts to investigate these types of irregularities, which undermine confidence in the integrity of our elections, and to share their findings with the public,” said Berger. “If even one fraudulently cast ballot effectively disenfranchises a legitimate voter, then that is one too many, and that’s why we continue to support commonsense policies like voter ID that improve voter confidence.”

 

In addition to the audit’s findings, a federal investigation into coordinated voter fraud in Bladen County is currently ongoing.

NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Rep. Tim Moore                         Sen. Phil Berger
Speaker of the House               President Pro Tempore

     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 29, 2016

 

Berger, Moore Respond to Politically-Motivated Ruling Blocking Voter ID

 

Raleigh, N.C. – Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) issued the following joint statement Friday in response to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on voter ID:

 

“Since today’s decision by three partisan Democrats ignores legal precedent, ignores the fact that other federal courts have used North Carolina’s law as a model, and ignores the fact that a majority of other states have similar protections in place, we can only wonder if the intent is to reopen the door for voter fraud, potentially allowing fellow Democrat politicians like Hillary Clinton and Roy Cooper to steal the election. We will obviously be appealing this politically-motivated decision to the Supreme Court.”

 

The voter ID law ensures any North Carolina citizen who wants to vote will have that opportunity. The law establishes a list of valid government-issued photo IDs that voters can present at their polling places, allows anyone without a photo ID to obtain one at no cost through the Department of Motor Vehicles, and allows anyone who still has difficulty obtaining a valid ID to fill out a reasonable impediment affidavit and still have their vote counted. It also brings North Carolina into the mainstream of other states on matters of same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting.

 

More than 30 other states have voter ID requirements, and a similar law was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 2008.

 

Polls – including those commissioned by groups challenging the law – consistently show the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians support voter ID. And political opponents of the law failed to produce a single witness who would be unable to vote under the law in court.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2016


Berger Responds to White House’s Attempt to Force Boys and Girls to Share Bathrooms, Locker Rooms in Schools

 

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following statement Friday in response to the Obama administration’s directive to public schools across the United States that they make school-aged boys and girls share bathrooms and locker rooms:

 

“The last time I checked, the United States is not ruled by a king who can bypass Congress and the courts and force school-aged boys and girls to share the same bathrooms and locker rooms. This is an egregiously unconstitutional overreach of the president’s authority, and North Carolina’s public schools should follow state law which protects our children’s safety and privacy.”

 

Caught Red-Handed!

Roy Cooper In Communication With San Francisco CEO Coordinating Threats of Economic Retaliation Against NC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2016
Contact: The Pat McCrory Committee
media@patmccrory.com
Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper called Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who then began “CEO-arm twisting” by recruiting and coordinating with business leaders, including Deutsche Bank, to inflict economic damage on North Carolina to protest HB2, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

“Roy Cooper’s fingerprints are all over the coordinated campaign to smear North Carolina and inflict economic damage on our state,” said McCrory Campaign Manager Russell Peck. “Instead of defending North Carolina, its business community and our hardworking citizens, Roy Cooper is actively communicating and working with the very CEOs who are trying to inflict economic damage on the state and prevent jobs from coming here. How can Roy Cooper ask voters to elect him governor while actively working behind the scenes with out-of-state CEOs to trash the state’s economy for his own political advantage?”

The Wall Street Journal reported that Attorney General Roy Cooper called Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who resides in San Francisco, to discuss North Carolina’s bathroom privacy law. Benioff, who recently held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and led fights against laws in other states, then “turned his guns on North Carolina’s law” by urging Salesforce’s business customers to take a stand against the law, including Deutsche Bank which promptly cancelled its plans to expand its office in North Carolina.

The Wall Street Journal’s Monica Langley reported: “North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper called Salesforce to discuss the law, which had drawn lawsuits against the state… Salesforce had little presence in North Carolina, so Mr. Benioff turned to Mr. Moynihan, CEO of Charlotte-based Bank of America, the state’s biggest employer. Mr. Moynihan then weighed in against the law… In an early-April business meeting with Salesforce customer Deutsche Bank AG, which has a 900-person North Carolina office, Mr. Benioff discussed the law with its co-chief executive, John Cryan. On April 12, Deutsche Bank announced it would freeze plans to add 250 North Carolina jobs while any of the law stayed intact.”