North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: Elections officials will give U.S. attorney vastly fewer records than he sought in voter probe | The Washington Post

Six months after a grand jury demanded millions of North Carolina voting records, state officials have announced they will release fewer than 800 voter files — a potentially significant setback for a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney who has targeted noncitizen voting as one of his top priorities. The state Board of Elections last week instructed 44 county election offices that received wide-ranging subpoenas for millions of voting records in August to hand over the files for only 289 voters. The state will turn over registration records for an additional 500 voters. It is unclear whether the vastly reduced volume of records is the result of a court order or an agreement between the board and U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr., who sought the records in August, shortly after he announced the arrest of 19 noncitizens on charges that they had illegally voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Full Article: North Carolina elections officials will give U.S. attorney vastly fewer records than he sought in voter probe - The Washington Post.

North Carolina: Redistricting reformers hopeful about legislation this year | Associated Press

Lawmakers who want to reform the redistricting process in North Carolina say uncertainty over pending map litigation and the shaky balance of power at the legislature make them more optimistic their ideas will be voted on this year. House Democrats and Republicans filed legislation on Wednesday that would create an 11-member “nonpartisan” redistricting commission. The panel would propose new legislative and congressional maps to the General Assembly after each decennial census, the next one of which occurs in 2020. Lawmakers have filed similar bills in previous years, unsuccessfully. The House and Senate revise and approve General Assembly and congressional districts based on population changes from the census. For generations, majority parties have pushed through maps favoring their sides. When they were in the minority 10 years ago, many Republicans supported the idea of the commission. In the years since regaining General Assembly control, they largely have set the proposal aside.

Full Article: Redistricting reformers hopeful about legislation this year | Raleigh News & Observer.

North Carolina: There’s at least one special election coming to North Carolina soon | Roll Call

The death of North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones over the weekend opens up a safe Republican seat on the state’s east coast. The governor must call a special election for the 3rd District. But there is no statutory time frame, so the timing will be up to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Further west, in the 9th District, voters are still waiting to hear whether there will be a special election for the vacant seat — the results of the 2018 election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready have not been certified. The North Carolina State Board of Elections is holding an evidentiary hearing on allegations of election fraud on Feb. 18.

Full Article: There’s at least one special election coming to North Carolina soon.

North Carolina: New board gets private preview of Congressional race probe | Associated Press

A reconstituted North Carolina elections board received a private preview Thursday of what investigators uncovered in their probe of absentee ballot irregularities in the country’s last unresolved congressional race. Chairman Bob Cordle said the new five-member State Board of Elections received a “full briefing” on findings in the 9th Congressional District race. The members met behind closed doors with attorneys and investigators for nearly four hours. Cordle said the findings will be released publicly at a hearing Feb. 18. He said the board will vote at the hearing’s close on whether to certify the 9th District results, order a new election or take some other step.

Full Article: New board gets private preview of Congressional race probe.

North Carolina: Millions of Voting Records Sought, Hundreds Given | Associated Press

North Carolina officials said Wednesday they will turn over nearly 800 voter files sought last year by a federal investigation believed to involve voter fraud that sought millions of records. The state elections board said it is responding to grand jury subpoenas by providing records for 289 people who previously registered to vote in eastern North Carolina and another 500 people outside the region. The state board had called the subpoenas served on it and 44 county elections boards in August by Raleigh-based federal prosecutors overly broad and unreasonable. Those requests for ballots, poll books, registration applications and other documents totaled more than 20 million records, the state elections board estimated last year.

Full Article: Millions of N Carolina Voting Records Sought, Hundreds Given | North Carolina News | US News.

North Carolina: Opponent says Mark Harris knew about fraud in 9th District election and turned blind eye to it | WRAL

Republican Mark Harris needs to testify under oath as to what he knows about alleged absentee ballot fraud in the 9th Congressional District election, his opponent said Tuesday. Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes in the race, but the State Board of Elections has refused to certify the results because of suspected voting irregularities in Bladen and Robeson counties. Harris has acknowledged hiring Bladen County political operative McCrae Dowless to oversee absentee ballot operations in the county. Several people have told reporters that Dowless paid them to pick up mail-in ballots, a felony under North Carolina law due to tampering concerns. Dowless has, through his attorney, denied any wrongdoing, but he hasn’t yet sat down with elections board investigators looking at the 9th District.

Full Article: Democrat Dan McCready Mark Harris knew about 9th District election fraud or turned blind eye to it :: WRAL.com.

North Carolina: Decision on new election expected this month in 9th district fraud investigatio | Raleigh News & Observer

The newly appointed state board of elections plans to vote on whether to certify the election — or call for a new one — in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District after a hearing on Feb. 18 and 19 in Raleigh, the board’s chairman said Monday. The five-member board, appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper on Jan. 31, will begin its evidentiary hearing at 10 a.m. at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh. The hearing is expected to last for two days, but the site has been reserved for three. Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the unofficial results from the 9th district. But the previous nine-member state board twice declined to certify the results, citing irregularities among mail-in absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties.

Full Article: When is the hearing in 9th district election investigation? | Raleigh News & Observer.

North Carolina: Voter-fraud investigation in North Carolina focuses on immigrants | The Washington Post

At about 4 a.m. on Aug. 23, federal agents rousted Jose Solano-Rodriguez from his bed in the suburbs of Raleigh. A couple of hours later, three agents knocked on Hyo Suk George’s door as she fed her rabbits and chickens in rural Columbus County. Jose Ramiro-Torres was at his job at a fencing company near the Outer Banks when his girlfriend called to tell him to come home, where federal agents were waiting. In all, 20 immigrants – two still in pajamas – were rounded up over several days, many of them handcuffed and shackled, and charged with voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election. The sweep across eastern North Carolina was one of the most aggressive voting-fraud crackdowns by a Trump-appointed prosecutor – and also a deliberate choice that demonstrates where the administration’s priorities stand. At the time of the arrests, an organized ballot-tampering effort that state officials had repeatedly warned about was allegedly gearing up in the same part of North Carolina. The operation burst into public view after Election Day in November, when the state elections board, citing irregularities in the mail-in vote, refused to certify the results of the 9th Congressional District race. That seat remains unfilled while state officials investigate.

Full Article: Voter-fraud investigation in North Carolina focuses on immigrants.

North Carolina: New elections board named, allowing 9th District investigation to proceed | WRAL

After more than a month without a State Board of Elections, Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday named five people to the reconstituted board. Cooper named Democrats Stella Anderson of Boone, Jeff Carmon III of Durham and Bob Cordle of Charlotte and Republicans David C. Black of Concord and Ken Raymond of Winston-Salem to the five-member board. “North Carolinians deserve fair and honest elections, and I am confident this board will work to protect our electoral process,” Cooper said in a statement. The board via conference call Thursday afternoon and elected Cordle chairman and Anderson secretary. Another meeting will be held next week, at which time members will set a date for a hearing into the ongoing investigation of alleged absentee ballot fraud in the 9th Congressional District race.

Full Article: New NC elections board named, allowing 9th District investigation to proceed :: WRAL.com.

North Carolina: With deadline looming, effort to name new state elections board hits a snag | Charlotte Observer

The effort to find members for a new North Carolina state elections board has hit a snag, just before a deadline for a new board to be named. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s office on Tuesday found two of the four Democrats nominated to the board ineligible. A new board is scheduled to be appointed by Thursday. The new board will oversee the investigation into alleged election fraud in the 9th District, a probe that has put into question the results of last November’s election. Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in unofficial results. But the old elections board twice declined to certify his victory because of alleged irregularities with absentee ballots in Bladen County. The old board was dissolved by court order Dec. 28 as part of a separate case.

Full Article: Nominees for NC board of elections found ineligible | Charlotte Observer.

North Carolina: New election board could steer the 9th District to resolution – or stalemate | Charlotte Observer

A new state elections board expected to be named this week could finally resolve North Carolina’s disputed 9th District congressional election — or push it even deeper into uncharted territory. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is scheduled to appoint the new, 5-member State Board of Elections by Thursday. It’s expected to schedule a hearing into allegations of election fraud in the 9th District. But from there the bipartisan board could deadlock, refusing to either certify the election of Republican Mark Harris or order a new election. That would further delay resolution of a situation that already has left 733,000 North Carolinians without representation in Congress. “This situation is unprecedented,” Democratic U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs of the House Administration Committee, told Politico this month. Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in unofficial returns. But in late November the previous state board twice declined to certify the election, citing reports of absentee ballot irregularities centered in Bladen County. The board launched an investigation, which has continued even after a court dissolved the board on Dec. 28 over a separate dispute.

Full Article: What if a new NC election board stalemates on District 9? | Charlotte Observer.

North Carolina: Do state investigators really have evidence to call 9th District margin into question? | WRAL

The new State Board of Elections, which won’t be named for another week, is probably the most awaited appointed board in North Carolina in recent memory – all because a congressional seat hangs in the balance. The 9th Congressional District seat is the only vacant seat in Congress because of allegations of absentee ballot fraud in Bladen and Robeson counties that has prompted a state investigation. Republican Mark Harris held a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready after the November election, but the former state board, which was dissolved in December after a court ruled its makeup unconstitutional following a separate legal battle, has refused to certify the results and declare a winner.

Full Article: Do state investigators really have evidence to call 9th District margin into question? :: WRAL.com.

North Carolina: New elections board won’t start for a week. But it’s already deep in controversy. | Charlotte Observer

North Carolina’s new bipartisan elections board won’t be named for a week, but it’s already sparked more partisan sniping in the midst of what could be the state’s biggest election scandal in years. The attacks began after former board Chairman Josh Malcolm, a Democrat who sparked the investigation into election fraud in the 9th Congressional District, told the Observer that he will not serve on a new board. Republican Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte and GOP Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County, who chair election committees, called Malcolm’s decision, coupled with the December resignation of then-Chairman Andy Penry, “the inevitable result of (Gov. Roy) Cooper’s crusade to make the Board an arm of his political machine.”

Full Article: Josh Malcolm, who started the 9th District probe, won’t serve | Charlotte Observer.

North Carolina: Republican Lawmakers Ask Voter ID Lawsuit To Be Dismissed | Associated Press

Republican legislators want a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s new voter identification rules thrown out, saying accusations that they violate several portions of the state constitution aren’t true. The offices of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger confirmed their dismissal motion was filed in Wake County court late Tuesday.

North Carolina: Judge rules against Mark Harris in North Carolina 9th election fraud case | News & Observer

The state’s investigation into alleged election fraud by the Mark Harris campaign will continue, a judge ruled Tuesday morning. Harris is the Republican candidate who appeared to narrowly win an election for North Carolina’s 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 elections. But the state has not certified his victory, due to an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud related to mail-in absentee ballots. Harris and his legal team had asked Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway to order the state to certify the results of the election despite the investigation, which could then send Harris to Congress. Following two hours of arguments from Harris’ lawyers Tuesday morning, as well as lawyers for the state and Harris’ 2018 Democratic opponent Dan McCready, Ridgeway said he would deny Harris’ request. “This is an extremely unusual situation, with no board in place, and asking this court to step in and exert extraordinary power in declaring the winner of an election, when that is clearly the purview of another branch of government,” he said during the hearing.

Full Article: Judge rules against Mark Harris in NC 9 election fraud case | News & Observer.

North Carolina: GOP, Democrats make closing arguments before 9th District dispute heads to court | WRAL

Republican and Democratic officials held dueling news conferences in Raleigh on Monday regarding the disputed 9th Congressional District election, one day before a court hearing that could decide the winner in the race. Republican candidate Mark Harris is asking a judge to issue a writ of mandamus, which would essentially order the State Board of Elections to certify the results of the 9th District election and declare him the winner. He is recovering from an infection and said Monday he won’t be able to attend Tuesday morning’s court hearing. Harris led Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes following the election, but the state board has refused to certify the results because of suspicious absentee voting results in Bladen and Robeson counties. Harris has acknowledged hiring Bladen County political operative McCrae Dowless to oversee absentee ballot operations in the county. Several people have told reporters that Dowless paid them to pick up mail-in ballots, a felony under North Carolina law due to tampering concerns.

Full Article: GOP, Democrats make closing arguments before 9th District dispute heads to court :: WRAL.com.

North Carolina: Officials haven’t handed over massive trove of voter data to feds | WRAL

A demand from the U.S. Department of Justice for data on North Carolina voters has so far gone unanswered by state officials, despite a deadline to produce the records that passed this week. State Board of Elections General Counsel Josh Lawson said neither his office nor any of the county elections boards have provided any documents in response to subpoenas from the office of U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon. The subpoenas were originally issued in September and demanded eight years’ worth of data on voters statewide, including five years of data and executed ballots from voters in 44 counties, as part of a grand jury investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Complying would have required state and local boards, as well as the state Division of Motor Vehicles, to hand over millions of records on the state’s registered voters just six weeks before the November election. Mounting concern over the demand prompted Justice Department attorneys days later to delay the production deadline until Jan. 14, clarify they wanted only redacted documents and offer to scale back the request.

Full Article: NC officials haven't handed over massive trove of voter data to feds :: WRAL.com.

North Carolina: Why does the GOP believe Mark Harris should take office? | Charlotte Observer

North Carolina Republicans ratcheted up their drive to put Mark Harris in Congress on Tuesday, questioning “the entire legitimacy” of a state investigation into allegations of election fraud in the 9th Congressional District. North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes accused elections officials of “one stalling pattern after another” in a meeting with reporters in Charlotte. “When there (isn’t) evidence that irregularities would change the outcome of the election, Mark Harris should be certified,” Hayes said. “If they had discovered a shred of evidence, they would have made it public.” State law, however, allows for the board to call for a new election if “Irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness.” The McCready campaign, in a legal brief filed Monday in Wake County Superior Court, called that finding “an inevitable conclusion” to the case.

Full Article: Why does NC GOP believe Mark Harris should take office? | Charlotte Observer.

North Carolina: House Administration Democrats keeping close eye on North Carolina election | Politico

The top Democrat on the House Administration Committee is closely monitoring the ongoing investigation in North Carolina’s contested 9th Congressional District, advising the state elections board to “preserve and protect” all of the evidence it has gathered. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chair of the Administration Committee, raised the possibility that her panel could intervene to determine “the rightful claimant to the seat” in North Carolina. After election night, Republican Mark Harris held a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready in the vote count — but the election board subsequently refused to certify the results, citing election fraud allegations against a contractor for Harris’ campaign and questions of ballot irregularities. In a letter to the state election board sent Friday evening, Lofgren also pointed out that a “certificate is not ultimately determinative of the House’s course of action.”

Full Article: House Administration Democrats keeping close eye on North Carolina election - POLITICO.

North Carolina: 9th District election dispute grinds through courts | CNN

A Superior Court judge in North Carolina has set a hearing in a lawsuit filed by Republican candidate Mark Harris asking the court to force the State Board of Elections to certify the results of the state’s 9th Congressional District election — before the board completes its investigation into potential fraud in the race. The hearing is set for January 22. There is still no clear resolution to the controversy over the results in North Carolina’s 9th District more than two months after Election Day. Harris leads the race by 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready, but there are serious questions surrounding an absentee ballot operation led by a political consultant he hired.

Full Article: NC 9th District election dispute grinds through courts - CNNPolitics.