(Videos) 2023 North Carolina Convention: Another Steamroll by Establishment GOP, Another Headache for America First Conservatives

by | Jun 16, 2023 | News Analysis, Commentary and Opinion

Feature photo (above) taken at time of Saturday’s adjournment at the 2023 North Carolina GOP Convention. Empty boxes of Advil were spotted on the convention floor after a chaotic day of party business. 

NC GOP Convention Exposes Divisions and Irregularities

Threats to Election Integrity and Party Unity

Securing North Carolina’s electoral college votes is crucial for the GOP’s next 2024 presidential candidate. Without organized support from the Party’s rank-and-file, it may be tough for the GOP candidate to carry the Old North State. Last weekend’s NCGOP state convention held significant importance in uniting and energizing the party for upcoming 2024 efforts. Regrettably, instead of bringing the party together, the event further exacerbated division among party factions without finding a resolution.

The focal point of the gathering centered around a fierce contest between incumbent Michael Whately and challenger John Kane for party chairmanship. While the established party hierarchy favored the re-election of Whatley due to his experience and connections with party leaders in Washington, grassroots members passionately rallied behind John Kane, citing poor leadership decisions and a lack of transparency from Whatley. Unfortunately, as Saturday’s business session unfolded, the convention transformed into a devastating setback for intra-party elections, grassroots supporters, and, most significantly, the integrity of North Carolina’s Republican Party.

The Primary Take-away From the NCGOP Convention

Currently, Michael Whatley has declared himself the winner of the election, but accurate minutes should indicate that the election remains unresolved without a declared winner.

The Saturday business session, during which the Chair vote was conducted, abruptly ended when the number of delegates on the floor fell below the required quorum due to delegates leaving the chamber in anticipation of the Trump dinner.

Disgruntled and frustrated, many left the convention feeling that established GOP leadership regards election integrity as malleable, conditional to their preferred candidates, and demonstrates a complete disregard for transparency in the electoral process and the application of best practices.

An Election Marred by Chaos

The voting process took place, but a multitude of irregularities cast uncertainty over the accuracy of the results. For instance, discrepancies in overvoting and under-voting tallies in ten counties were never adequately addressed or reconciled.

Final votes were never certified.

Challenger John Kane has yet to concede.

Vote Totals for the NCGOP Chair Election

The following are the raw and weighted vote totals, listed by county — provided by NCGOP. 

(click image to view document.)

2023 NCGOP Chair Election vote totals provided by NCGOP

Uncovering Voting Irregularities at the NCGOP Convention: A Deep Dive into the Controversies

As election integrity remains a top concern for Republicans since the 2020 presidential election, the NCGOP Convention delegates experienced a contradiction to the motto of “easy to vote, difficult to cheat.”

One glaring example of the irregularities was the absence of a voter ID requirement during credential pickup. Delegates were asked for only their name and home street address, despite the long-standing debate on voter ID in North Carolina. It is astonishing that ID was not mandatory at the convention registration desk given Voter ID is now a requirement in North Carolina.

Here is a list of some irregularities:

  • The total number of delegates present on the convention floor, as counted by each county, is unknown and Convention officials at the time would not record it.
  • The number of votes exceeding the count of registered delegates was observed in multiple counties.
  • Despite only one delegate from Granville County, who happened to be the county chair, casting their vote for Kane, the voting system recorded three votes from Granville, one of which was for Whatley.
  • Registered Guests of the Convention were able to vote utilizing the NCGOP’s Voting App. There continues to be a lack of verification as to whether these votes were removed. 
  • Delegates were said to be voting from far off places, Wisconsin, Florida, and Wilmington, NC. Were they in another location? Or was their cell service merely rerouting their data from another location?
  • Some delegates departed the convention floor without casting their votes due to malfunctions in the Voting App.
  • The NCGOP’s Voting App lacks a paper trail, preventing the results from being audited or even certified by human eyes. Incredibly, the Parlimentarian announced that the software certifies the votes as they’re outputted by the computer — even though vote totals were a verifiable mess.

The following photos were taken by a NCGOP Guest who voted from the lobby of the Sheraton hotel as delegate voting was going on behind closed doors in the ballroom. This may serve as evidence that the integrity of the NCGOP electronic voting system was compromised.

Click images to enlarge.

2023 NCGOP Convention Guest with access to voting system
2023 NCGOP app use by guest during voting.
2023 NCGOP app use by guest 2

“North Carolina is the model for election integrity…”

— Michael Whatley, NCGOP Chair and RNC General Counsel, proclaimed moments before voting turned into a five-hour ordeal at the 2023 NCGOP Convention.

Michael Whatley speaking at the 2023 NCGOP Convention.

(Below) This photo captures the chaotic scene during the chairmanship vote. The smartphone voting app’s immediate failure led to long queues forming as delegates rushed to the voting kiosks scattered across the convention floor.

2023 NCGOP Convention Delegates lined up to vote for State Chairman of the Party.

Was Mike Whatley Elected Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party or Not?

Manny Ruiz, President of Liberty Youth Coalition and John Kane supporter, laid out a line of reasoning on a Twitter thread as to why Whatley, technically, was not elected as Chairman.

“Michael Whatley DID receive the most votes, but the votes were not certified.

“Many delegates had concerns about the electronic voting app. An attempt to get paper ballots failed due to some confusion on the floor.

“There was evidence of non-delegates being able to vote, and delegates who weren’t at convention were able to vote. (as far away as Wisconsin!)

“There was an attempt to fix this.

“All attempts failed or were not done properly.

“Citing these issues, there was an attempt to challenge the voting method. This was stalled, or done improperly (this is why you gotta know your Robert’s Rules🤷🏻‍♂️)

“There was one successful challenge, BUT that was shut down by asking for a quorum. No quorum was found.

“The majority of the delegates had left the room in order to use the restroom or prepare for the dinner with former President Donald Trump.

“Since there was no quorum. The convention was paralyzed.
Trump’s speech can’t be moved, many delegates could not return for an impromptu meeting tomorrow.

“There was discussion about an session at 8pm but that was not made into a motion.

“The vote for chair was still in question as multiple counties noted errors in their tallies.

“Over TEN counties had to revote because of errors.

“That plus the lack of a quorum led to a convention stuck. No motions could be heard because the election was not yet over.

“The only motion that could be allowed was an adjournment.

“Thus the convention chose to adjourn sine die. The vote was not verified. Mr Whatley was NOT officially named chair, nor had his opponent conceded, nor had the counties mentioned earlier told the chair that they had finished voting.

“Therefore: Mr Whatley has NOT been elected chair.

“He continues to serve as chair until an emergency convention can be held or possible until the next convention in 2024.

“That is where the election stands.

“There was no election for vice chair. No platform was debated. No bylaw changes were heard.

@johnmkane1776  has not yet conceded, nor has Mr Whatley won.

“The convention business is over. Nothing more is going to happen for now. Both camps are now reorganizing and attempting to figure out the next steps.”

Post Convention: Stonewalling, Lack of Transparency

Immediately following the NCGOP Convention, John Kane reached out to Whatley to address concerns with the convention’s Election Integrity. These following videos describe how Whatley responded to Kane’s inquiries.

The following video was distributed by John Kane on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.

The following video was distributed by John Kane on Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

Published by John Kane on Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The NCGOP state convention exposed divisions and irregularities, threatening party cohesion. Voting irregularities and the absence of voter ID raised transparency concerns. The flaws in the electronic voting system highlight the need for greater integrity and adherence to best practices. Restoring trust in the Republican Party is imperative.

If the North Carolina Republican Party genuinely values election integrity, why not engage a reputable third-party entity to oversee the election of state party officers?

The NCGOP’s current election system looks shamefully vulnerable at best.

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3 Comments

  1. We advocated for paper ballots on Friday afternoon. Someone from the stage said that Republicans need to get over their fear of technology. Maybe the establishment needs to get over their fear of paper.

    Reply
  2. The screen shots shown do not provide conclusive evidence that guests were able to vote. Anyone can take a photo of a guest badge and a delegate’s phone to make it appear the guests were able to vote. Additionally, no revote was taken for the approximately 10 counties.

    Reply
    • We would like to provide further clarification.

      Although screenshots alone do not constitute definitive proof, they serve as supporting evidence to indicate the lack of trustworthiness in the voting system. We have verified these images were sent in real-time from a registered Guest in the lobby to a Delegate on the floor while the voting was taking place. There are individuals present in the lobby who witnessed the guest casting their vote, and there are witnesses inside the ballroom who saw the original photo (prior to redaction) during this incident.

      Reply

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