Lynn Bernstein, Transparent Elections NC founder, describes “Sleepover,” a flaw with the NC Election Process.
On January 17, 2023, Lynn Bernstein tweeted she’d be
featured on The Convo Couch
, an independent media broadcast based out of Los Angeles, California. As I listened to host Craig Pasta Jardula interview Bernstein, it perturbed me so deeply when hearing how she was mistreated by Gary Sims, Elections Director of Wake County, NC. It seemed like the world kept turning when it happened and no one batted an eye.
Bernstein wasn’t always so passionate about the issue of transparency and during the interview appears to recall a time when she was not so involved in this advocacy. She suspected she was like most voters… pretty much trusting people did their jobs at boards of elections. To her surprise, she discovered this was not the case in her local Wake County board. Even worse, she found some of her colleagues were okay with it. She noted during the interview seeing opened, flattened absentee ballots in the Wake County warehouse from across the room, an area I would call where pesky observers are kept
. She informed the audience that the mailed in envelopes were to be opened in public and ballots were not to be brought into the room already in an “open” condition. One must wonder if observers are provided binoculars. Plebs!
Lynn also described being fired as an observer by her own political party, the Wake County Democrats.
Fast forward to May 14, 2022 when this so-called elections administrator, Gary Sims, calls on law enforcement to strip Bernstein of the ability to return to the County property by formally trespassing her. Imagine having the police at your beck and call to keep pesky observers away from those public buildings which the county forced them to pay for. One would think police would know about Bernstein’s rights and not simply do as they were told by Gary Sims. It’s a good thing Sims didn’t suggest gouging out her eyes so she couldn’t observe any longer! Okay, let’s not give him any ideas.
Stephen Horn, an independent investigative journalist, reports after listening to the 911 call the fact that the security guard was not saying Bernstein was ever a security threat, but instead the election manager wanted Bernstein trespassed from the county property.
You can see him describe his take in an interview with Alison Morrow here
Since May 14, 2022, Bernstein has retained legal representation, brought the case to a US District Court Judge and was recently awarded a preliminary injunction.
Today, the Law Office of B. Tyler Brooks, PLLC shared the following statement:
“We are very gratified that the U.S. District Court found that Mrs. Bernstein was likely to prevail on the merits of her claims and entered an injunction allowing her to return to Wake County Board of Elections meetings. The actions by the Board of Elections in banning Mrs. Bernstein were not simply unreasonable, but without any basis in fact. It prohibited her from ever again attending or participating in any meeting of the Board at its headquarters, regardless of the reason she had for attending a Board meeting. The Board has not appealed the injunction, and we are now proceeding to discovery with a trial to be set later this year or perhaps early next year.”
On January 5, 2023 Stephen Horn shared video footage on twitter of Bernstein heading in to observe the board meeting for the first time since the trouble with Gary Sims began last May.
Find the extensive work of Stephen Horn here
, as well as his detailed report containing backstory, timeline, and other supporting documents/media. Readers can support Bernstein’s advocacy by getting in touch with Transparent Elections NC.
As of January 18, 2023 corporate media outlets have largely ignored Bernstein’s story. Search results turned up limited results, many of which I have cited above. I cannot stress highlighting the need to support independent journalism and protections for free speech, even speech we disagree with, or speech from persons we disagree with.