Red map of North Carolina and words Ask the North Carolina State BOE: How much do you expect taxpayers to spend to make our elections less secure?

North Carolina Board of Elections held a sham meeting and certified voting machines that have unreadable barcodes. Read the letter below.

August 24, 2019

Mr. Damon Circosta, Board Chair
North Carolina State Board of Elections

Mr. Circosta:

I spoke on the issues of barcode ballots for the strict two-minute time limit imposed on concerned voters at yesterday’s NCSBE meeting. Prior to the meeting, we at Coalition for Good Governance submitted fact-based expert opinions on the reasons that BMDs are insecure, unauditable and unfit for use in NC elections, which you ignored in favor of uninformed magical thinking and vendor influence. Here’s a link to Friday’s Coalition for Good Governance submissions.

The arrogant, unprofessional and deplorable manner in which you ran yesterday’s meeting and led the board in a puirely political approach to address scientific and legal issues demands your immediate resignation. North Carolina is facing a crucial year of 2020 presidential cycle elections. Your failure to understand the most basic democratic principles and the lack of knowledge of election security is out of sync with the informed and passionate electorate of North Carolina, for which you showed unbridled disdain. North Carolina must demand far more of its leader in one of the most critical offices in the State. The knowledge gap and lack of respect for your fellow citizens shown by your performance yesterday is unpetalled in my experience in dealing with state election officials.

I have spent full time for 10 years in civic engagement on the issue of election security and interacted with thousands of election officials and legislative leaders. I’ve disagreed with many, and I’ve sued several dozen, but I’ve never asked for the resignation of an official before. But sir, this is a clear issue of a mismatch between the person and the role. The role of Board Chair demands a desire to hear from the voters, deep respect of the civic engagement process, humility, sophistication in considering arguments, willingness to put facts and science above politics, and most importantly an understanding that these are the people’s elections---not the government’s elections. It is clear that you simply do not embrace those principles.

Your refusal to even consider the work of the most highly respected scientists and auditing experts in the country on the issue of the election security dangers of ballot marking devices speaks volumes as to how you will handle the many questions of facts that will come your way next year. Your willingness to put your affinity for the vendor ahead of the NC voters, the Constitution, statutes, science and auditable elections previews for all what will happen when candidates and voters expose controversies during the elections next year. They can count on you sweeping all problems under the rug to avoid exposing the vendors’ unreliable systems. This is why your immediate resignation is essential to safeguard the 2020 elections.

Your public statements that audits will be the solution is blatantly dishonest (not merely misinformed) when you have been repeatedly informed by the nation’s foremost experts that auditing the election results from BMD machines is “meaningless.” Leading the board to adopt voting systems that are even worse than the DRE voting systems the General Assembly is ordering be discontinued is a deplorable abuse of your authority. I hope that you will take time to read the opinion piece that will appear in Sunday’s AJC by Professor Richard DeMillo, a nationally respected computer scientist. He explains that Georgia too is going from an unacceptable DRE system to an even more insecure system with BMDs.

Mr. Circosta, there is really no reasonable remediation or mitigation of the damage done yesterday to your credibility with the NC voters and many non-profits focused on voting rights. Please avoid the further damage by trying to defend or mitigate your actions. It would only be too little too late. Please step aside so that Governor Cooper can immediately appoint a true professional who can gain the confidence of all political parties, candidates, election officials and voters.

My intense criticism is not isolated to your decision on the BMDs, --it stems from the many unacceptable policies and the disrespectful manner you adopted in your approach to your public leadership role. Appointed public office does not bring with it authoritarian power or a license for arrogance and rejection of facts, science and law for the advancement of a hidden agenda.

There are likely many members of the public who attended yesterday who would like to co-sign this letter but are nervous about potential retaliation against their voters or members. There was considerable wide-spread dismay, disgust and embarrassment about your leadership, and agreement that a change is immediately required. We at Coalition for Good Governance are taking the first step to ask that you immediately contact Governor Cooper to tender your resignation.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilyn Marks, Executive Director
Coalition for Good Governance
Charlotte, NC

cc: Governor Roy Cooper
State Board of Elections members Anderson, Raymond, Black, and Carmon

Here is a link to the raw footage of that meeting.  
NC State Board of Elections Certification of barcode ballots was a scam meeting 8.23.19: