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Cal Cunningham Statement On The Integrity And Safety Of The North Carolina Election Process

Yesterday, Senator Tillis Dangerously Questioned The Integrity Of Absentee Ballots, NC Election 

RALEIGH, NC – Cal Cunningham released the following statement after Senator Thom Tillis questioned the integrity of North Carolina’s voting process, saying he had “grave concerns” about the state’s absentee process and irresponsibly suggested that the process was being used to “create civil unrest and questions about whether or not the election was fair.” Tillis’ attacks on the election process followed a decision by the North Carolina Board of Elections that would make it easier for North Carolinians to fix mistakes on their absentee ballots, a decision that Republicans have recklessly made political with less than 40 days until the election. 

“Maintaining the integrity of the election is fundamental to our democracy,” said Cal Cunningham. “Regardless of party, or who you support in this year’s election, it’s important for North Carolinians to know that our elections are fair, safe and secure. It is irresponsible and dangerous to use voting as a political weapon that is up for debate. I served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan to advance democracy and the rule of law, and I won’t sit quietly while people here in our own country are assaulting those very values.”

This is yet another reversal for Tillis, who earlier this week touted that he was going to vote absentee. 

As the News and Observer Editorial Board noted, the Board of Elections’ announcement reflects “commonsense changes given the Postal Service’s delays in delivering mail, the risk of meeting with a witness during a pandemic and the unfamiliarity with the rules on the part of many people who will be voting absentee for the first time.” The editorial goes on to note that Republican criticisms are nothing more than political posturing: “The Republican leaders don’t fear voter fraud. They fear voters. A closer look at the settlement shows the State Board of Elections made a prudent decision to settle the legal challenge to help absentee voters and head off confusion as Election Day nears.”

News and Observer: Tillis says he has ‘grave concerns’ about voting by mail in NC after board settlement

Brian Murphy — September 24, 2020

  • U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said Thursday he has “grave concerns” about North Carolina’s absentee by-mail system, less than two days after he said he had so much faith in the system that he challenged his Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham, to vote by mail.
  • More than 1 million absentee by-mail requests have been made in North Carolina, and nearly 200,000 voters have returned their accepted ballots already, according to state board data.
  • As part of the state board’s lawsuit settlement with an advocacy group representing retirees, voters will have an easier time fixing mistakes on their mail-in ballots. The settlement would also allow more time for ballots to arrive after election day and still be counted and it would allow for drop boxes where voters could place their ballots instead of sending them by mail, The News & Observer reported earlier.
  • Tillis said Thursday on the radio show that “what the board of elections did yesterday was not necessary.”
  • “Now they have undermined the integrity of the process in North Carolina. It’s a sad day,” he said.
  • He said he could see his election result being in doubt for weeks or months after Nov. 3.
  • “I’m telling you, we are setting ourselves up for a horrible outcome, and the people in North Carolina now have to wonder whether or not the absentee ballot system, which had integrity up until yesterday, is now swept into a nationwide attempt to really create civil unrest and questions about whether or not the election was fair,” Tillis said.