In the still un-certified 9th Congressional District race, Bladen and Robeson counties had the two highest rate of unreturned absentee mail-in ballots. Bladen and Robeson also stand out statewide, according to an analysis by Catawba College political science professor Michal Bitzer. He found there were about 19,400 absentee ballots by mail statewide that were requested but not returned for the Nov. 6 election. Robeson had 10 percent of those statewide non-returned ballots, and Bladen County had 8 percent of the non-returned ballots. That’s 3,404 ballots. The two counties make up less than 2 percent of the state’s population.
“The question is, what happened to those votes?” Bitzer said.
Republican Mark Harris is leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.
On Friday, the North Carolina Board of Elections voted 7-2 tan hold an evidentiary hearing on the 9th District on or before Dec. 21.
In addition to agreeing to hold the hearing, the board voted not to certify three local races. Two of those are in Bladen County, and one was a judicial race in Robeson County — signs that the state is looking at fraud in both counties.