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Flouting the rules has become commonplace for those fighting North Carolina election laws.
On Wednesday, Oct. 29, long time civil rights attorney Adam Stein of Tin Fulton Walker and Owens was photographed handing out voter information just outside the front door of the Hillel Center polling place in Chapel Hill. Electioneering that close to the polling site is forbidden.
Stein not only has 45 years of civil litigation experience, he is also one of the attorneys involved with the NC NAACP’s case against the state saying that HB 589 is unconstitutional because the law causes voter suppression of blacks and other minorities.
That case will go to trial next year, but early indications are that the suppression argument has no teeth. Early voting in the state ended on Saturday and vote trackers are showing an increase in black voters for this midterm election.
The law states [see NCGS § 163-166.4] that the buffer zone for electioneering should be “the limit at 50 feet from the door of entrance to the voting place, measured when that door is closed, but in no event shall it set the limit at more than 50 feet or at less than 25 feet.”
Watchdog Wire contacted Mary Lopez Carter, a volunteer greeter at the Hillel Center who took the photo of Stein. Carter is also running for state senate for Orange and Chatham counties in District 23. She said she and a co-worker were outside the designated buffer area when they saw another volunteer walk over to the entrance of Hillel to begin handing out voter cards.
The judge was notified and came out to tell the man, later discovered to be Stein, that there was to be no campaigning inside the buffer area.
Then on Friday, Carter’s husband was volunteering at the same site. Stein was there again and engaged in a conversation with Dave Carter who along with his wife Mary determined that this was the man in the photo.
Then on Sunday, Mary Carter received an email from a friend of Stein’s who said he was “disappointed” that the photo of Stein on the “front porch” was making him look bad. The friend said the reason Stein was at the front door was to get out of the rain.
Carter notified Kim Strach, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, about the incident.
Disregard for the law has become all too common in North Carolina and HB 589 is the battleground.
Photo of Hillel Center given by permission from Mary Carter. Image of Stein from screenshot of video at UNC Law Center. Featured image from Shutterstock.
Tags: Attorney Adam Stein, HB 589, North Carolina, VIVA
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