For all the talk about “election integrity” and “secure elections,” the North Carolina Republican Party apparently can’t even figure out how to run their own party convention’s election safely and securely, according to a lawsuit filed by a group of GOP activists.
Several delegates in attendance at June’s NCGOP convention in Greensboro filed a lawsuit in July calling for a judge to void the results and order a new election because the way the vote was handled lacked integrity and fairness, WUNC reported.
The lawsuit claims that the election for party chair and vice chair was conducted via a cellphone app developed by staff members of the NCGOP and that the app counted votes from people who weren’t eligible to vote and people who weren’t even in the state at the time of the convention.
“It’s an open question in our minds as to how many of those votes that should not have been tabulated were actually counted in the chair election, and what impact that might have had on the outcome,” said James Lawrence, an attorney representing the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit says that the election should have used paper ballots instead of an app and that only eligible delegates physically at the convention at the time of the election should have been allowed to vote.
Incumbent Party Chairman Michael Whatley won the election, but his opponent, John Kane, has so far refused to concede and made the same argument outlined in the lawsuit.
Kane actually compared the election to The Big Lie – that Donald Trump had the 2020 election stolen from him.
“Since the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, our party has focused tirelessly on election integrity,” Kane wrote in a letter to Whatley that he posted to the right-wing website Rumble. “It has been, and continues to be, the number one issue in our state. … Yet, you could not conduct an election between two candidates with less than 2,000 people voting, all in the same room.”
Although there is no evidence whatsoever that the election was stolen from Trump in 2020, ironically, there seems to be plenty of evidence that the NCGOP conducted their party election with a complete lack of integrity and without any security measures in place to prevent fraudulent votes.
According to WUNC, it’s not clear if courts even have the power to get involved in a political party’s internal elections. The lawsuit accuses the state Republican Party of breach of contract because delegates paid $75 to vote under rules that weren’t even enforced or followed.
“The NCGOP is not ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,’” the lawsuit says. “North Carolina courts have consistently required private associations of less public significance than the NCGOP to follow their own rules and governing policies.”
Lawrence told WUNC that he’s now waiting on a Wake County Superior Court judge to schedule a hearing for the lawsuit.