- Dec 2014
- The Milky Way
Protests filed in Bladen and 11 other counties over alleged fraudulent absentee ballots
Protests filed in Bladen and 11 other counties over alleged frau - | WBTV Charlotte
According to the McCrory campaign, the protest, filed by Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor McCrae Dowless and corroborated by a forensic handwriting expert, notes "shocking evidence resulting from a blatant scheme to try to impact the voting results of an entire county and perhaps even sway statewide and federal elections," including the gubernatorial race.
“With hundreds of fraudulent votes found in just one North Carolina county for a straight Democratic ticket, close examination of this election is required to make sure the true winner of the election is properly determined,” said Jason Torchinsky, legal counsel for the Pat McCrory Committee Legal Defense Fund. “The staggering evidence of voter fraud in Bladen County and the number of similar PACs that the North Carolina Democratic Party donated to shortly before the start of early vote requires close examination throughout the state.”
The ballots were identified as problematic after Dowless brought suspicions of voter fraud in his race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor to the attention of the Bladen County Board of Elections before Election Day.
A multitude of suspicious write-in votes cast for Democrat Franklin Graham in the race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor appear to have “overtly similar” handwriting patterns on the ballots and witness signatures, according to the McCrory campaign.
Horace Munn, a representative with the Bladen County Improvement Assocation PAC, said Tuesday night that his group did nothing against the law. He explained that PAC volunteers went door-to-door during early voting to help those who wanted to fill out absentee ballots. Munn said absentee ballots are common in Bladen County because of "harassment and intimidation at the polls."
Munn said the volunteers provided a sample ballot, already filled out, for voters to use as they completed their own. Franklin Graham was written in on the sample ballot.
On several occasions, Munn said his volunteers manually filled out ballots for voters who requested it, something he explained they've done for years.
"From what I gather, the people that were voting at home couldn’t write in legible Franklin Graham, and so I guess they asked people to assist them and write that name in, so when they wrote that name in they probably did it for multiple people," Munn explained. "Now the state board of election is saying if you wrote his name in for them even though you didn’t bubble, you are supposed to sign it to say you assisted."
Bobby Lumley, Chair of Bladen Board of Elections, said that the fact those who assisted didn't sign the line saying they assisted is a real problem.
"I think there must be some truth because the state accepted it for investigation. I know there is voter fraud--in this case that cat's out of the bag so to speak," stated Lumley. "The absentee by mail program is being abused severely, we had over one thousand absentee ballots this time. It started growing with the PACs, when they got active, they go out and get everyone they can to sign a request for an absentee ballot."
Dozens of ballots appear to have been mostly straight ticket votes for Democrats in all other offices.
The protest filed by Dowless challenges the alleged fraudulent votes cast in the Solid and Water Conservation District Supervisor race in addition to all other votes cast in state, local and federal races.