As Republican-led county election boards began to reject GOP complaints, Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign said Nov. 18 it expected the rulings to be “immediately appealed to the State Board of Elections.” Ten days later, the state board has received only two appeals – both challenging decisions by the Durham County Board of Elections. In those appeals, Republicans are seeking a hand recount and an opportunity to inspect absentee ballot envelopes for signs of fraud. But without more appeals, Republican claims of voter fraud and irregularities in more than 50 counties appear to have fizzled. McCrory trails Democratic challenger Roy Cooper by about 9,700 votes. As of Monday evening, only three counties had not yet held hearings on the complaints, which include allegations that ineligible felons and dead people voted, and that some voters cast ballots in multiple states. Hearings in those counties are scheduled for this week.
The McCrory campaign had announced weeks ago that its allies would be filing complaints in 53 of North Carolina’s 100 counties due to “serious voter fraud concerns.” In addition to the concerns about ineligible voters, some complaints argued that community groups funded by the N.C. Democratic Party were involved in “harvesting” absentee ballots.
But many of those complaints were never filed. For 19 counties named by the McCrory campaign, state elections officials didn’t receive notice of any complaints. County boards are required to send copies of all complaints to the State Board of Elections. County election directors in five of those counties confirmed that they’d never received anything from Republicans.
Asked Monday if more appeals were in the works, N.C. Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse didn’t directly answer and pointed instead to an election complaint under investigation in Bladen County.