THREE ARRESTED AFTER NC SENATOR-ELECT GALEY REFUSES TO ALLOW PUBLIC COMMENTS: Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement wanted to express their dismay at being pepper sprayed during a march to the polls two weeks ago. But the chair of the all-Republican board, Amy Scott Galey, brought the meeting to a close before they got a chance to approach the podium. Among the things they wanted to talk about was the sheriff’s (Terry Johnson) deputies use of force on them. They felt that public officials had become inaccessible after they, and some of their children, were pepper sprayed Oct. 31, in an incident that attracted national attention. Within minutes, three people attending the meeting were in handcuffs. The sheriff’s office did not respond to The News & Observer’s request for an interview about Monday’s arrests.
BEASLEY REQUESTS RECOUNT IN RACE AGAINST NEWBY FOR CHIEF JUSTICE: A statewide recount will determine whether Republican Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby has unseated Democratic Chief Justice Cheri Beasley in the top position in North Carolina's courts system. At the conclusion of county canvasses, Newby led Beasley by 366 votes – out of nearly 5.4 million cast in the election. "The race for chief justice will not be over until every single vote has been counted," Beasley said in a statement. "Our team has officially requested a statewide recount and will be filing protest petitions across the state to ensure over 2,000 absentee and provisional ballots that were wrongfully rejected are included in the final tally. This race is far from decided, and we look forward to ensuring the counting process continues so that every voice is heard." Nearly 25,000 of the 41,000 provisional ballots cast statewide were rejected, More than a million absentee ballots were cast by mail, but it was unclear Tuesday how many of those were rejected.
NO RECOUNT IN AG RACE, JOSH STEIN WINS ANOTHER 4 YEAR TERM: On Tuesday at 6 p.m. after all counties reported their certified results Stein led O’Neill with 50.1% and had 13,624 more votes, out of more than 5.4 million cast. Stein sent an email to his supporters Tuesday telling them all votes had been counted and O’Neill was outside the range of a recount. Stein said in his coming term he plans to continue battling the opioid epidemic, reforming the criminal justice system, protecting consumers, keeping drinking water clean and defending people’s personal liberties and rights. Stein said he’s investigating corporations like Google and Facebook for alleged antitrust violations and suing Juul over allegations of targeting younger people with e-cigarettes. The vaping case is set to go to court in May, he said. “That work will continue and I’m eager to get back at it,” Stein said. Stein, a Dartmouth College graduate, began his career teaching English and economics in Zimbabwe. He went on to earn law and public policy degrees from Harvard University. Stein came to Durham and worked at Self-Help Credit Union where he helped turn abandoned drug houses into affordable single-family homes and at North Carolina Minority Support Center where he helped raise money to invest in small businesses.
LINDSEY GRAHAM IS ON A CRUSADE (IN OTHER STATES) TO HELP TRUMP: Along the way, Graham has turned himself into a lightning rod among state officials who want nothing to do with his probe, while his Senate colleagues try to politely dismiss his stumbling effort as a one-man show that is mostly a distraction. In an interview Monday with The Washington Post, Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, accused the senator of trying to pressure him into tossing out legally cast ballots. And Tuesday, after Graham mistakenly told reporters he had spoken with secretaries of state in Arizona and Nevada, those officials rejected that assertion. That raised another question. In what capacity is Graham acting? “As a United States senator who is worried about the integrity of the election process,” Graham told reporters. Could any U.S. senator conduct his or her own investigation? “Sure,” he said. Old friends and colleagues issued warnings Tuesday that there is a line Graham cannot cross with state election officials. “If all he’s trying to do is get information, people are entitled to do that. If he’s trying to influence the way they perform their duty, that becomes a bit problematic,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a former state attorney general. On Tuesday, Graham said that part of his motivation was to clarify the rules in the upcoming Jan. 5 runoff elections for Georgia’s two Senate seats, which, if both tip to Democrats, would give them the majority next year after Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) are sworn in as president and vice president. Graham seemed particularly concerned with the signature-matching procedures used to authenticate mail-in ballots.
TRUMP FIRES ELECTION SECURITY CHIEF FOR CHOOSING TRUTH OVER CONSPIRACY THEORIES: President Trump on Tuesday night fired his administration’s most senior cybersecurity official responsible for securing the presidential election, Christopher Krebs, who had systematically disputed Mr. Trump’s false declarations in recent days that the presidency was stolen from him through fraudulent ballots and software glitches that changed millions of votes. The announcement came via Twitter, the same way Mr. Trump fired his defense secretary a week ago and has dismissed other officials throughout his presidency. Mr. Trump seemed set off by a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security late last week, the product of a broad committee overseeing the elections, that declared the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.” “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate,” Mr. Trump wrote a little after 7 p.m., “in that there were massive improprieties and fraud — including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, ‘glitches’ in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more.” He said Mr. Krebs “has been terminated” as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a post to which Mr. Trump himself had appointed him. The firing stirred an immediate backlash in the national security community and on Capitol Hill. “Of all the things this president has done, this is the worst,” said Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, who led a commission on improving cyberdefenses. “To strike at the heart of the democratic system is beyond anything we have seen from any politician.” He said Mr. Krebs was one of the most competent people he had met in the government. “In this administration, the surest way to get fired is to do your job,” Mr. King said.