Federal Judge Blocks NC DOJ’s Secretive Absentee Ballot Scheme, Cites Equal Protection for Voters and Public Interest

Raleigh, N.C. – A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order Saturday against North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s secretive absentee ballot scheme struck with Gov. Roy Cooper’s Board of Elections and his former campaign attorney, in a case in which state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) is the lead plaintiff.

In a ruling siding with voters and state lawmakers while transferring their case to other litigation, U.S. District Court Judge James Dever said the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order is “in the public interest.”
“The NCSBOE inequitably and materially upset the electoral status quo in the middle of an election by issuing the memoranda and giving the memoranda legal effect,” the court said.
“The public has a distinct interest in ensuring that plaintiffs’ voting rights under the Constitution are secure.”
Speaker Moore said the ruling, which followed a scathing rebuke of the DOJ’s scheme by Judge William Osteen in a separate federal court this week, served justice to North Carolina voters wronged by a secretive scheme struck by Attorney General Stein and Gov. Roy Cooper with national Democratic Party leaders.
“Lawmakers warned that Attorney General Stein and Governor Cooper could not be trusted to administer elections law and proposed a Bipartisan Board of Elections to prevent their partisan schemes from being struck with help from radical state court judges – we were right,” Speaker Moore said Saturday.
“The Governor and Attorney General must immediately stop publishing misleading materials to the public about their scheme – their administrations continue to claim the secret settlement does not eliminate the witness requirement and complies with a federal court order, but neither is true.”
“Those false claims should be withdrawn, along with this collusive deal, which two federal judges have now agreed amounts to a betrayal of North Carolina voters.”