A voting rights group called Tuesday for state and local officials to investigate whether allies of North Carolina’s former governor and the state Republican Party broke laws when hundreds of people were accused of voter fraud or absentee ballot irregularities last November. “We are calling on them to enforce state and federal laws that protect the right to vote and the integrity of the election process,” Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said at a news conference. More than 50 postelection protests were filed in 37 counties soon after Election Day for the extremely close race between then-Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. Many of the protests alleged that ballots had been cast by convicted felons, dead people or those who voted in another state. The protests sought to have the ballots thrown out.
Democracy North Carolina said most of the accusations were irresponsible because the claims weren’t backed by evidence or could be eliminated based on cursory reviews of voter roll information. The protests were designed to intimidate voters for political gain or put in doubt the election result, the group’s report describing its own review alleges.
Most of the protests were dismissed for lack of evidence or sidelined by GOP-controlled election boards because they were filed too late and the number of votes wouldn’t change the outcome. McCrory conceded in early December to Cooper, who won by 10,277 votes out of more than 4.7 million cast in the race.