RALEIGH – The focus of the 9th District electoral fraud drama, Bladen County, was again before the N.C. State Board of Elections last week with complaints of political impropriety by two Democrats on the Bladen County Board of Elections. However, the the Cooper-appointed Democrats on the State Board circled the wagons, dismissing the complaints on a technicality without even hearing from the person making who actually made it.
Making it all that much more intriguing, the one of the Democrats accused of the impropriety was represented in the hearing by none other than Joshua Malcolm. Malcolm, is the the former Cooper-appointed chair of the NCSBE, who was caught having improper communications with Bladen County Democrat in the middle of the fraud drama. He just resigned as general counsel for UNC Pembroke amid an ongoing lawsuit for his public communication records there.
The Democrat Bladen Board of Elections member, Patricia Sheppard and Louella Thompson were accused by Bladen County Republican Party leader Wayne Shaeffer of being demonstrating improper hyper-partisanship in emails and statements; a big no-no for an election official. His complaint included documents and links to his evidence, which he would presumably have detailed for the State Board at the heading. ‘Presumably,’ because the Board held the hearing with out Shaeffer present or on the call.
“[…] Complaints against two members of the Bladen County Board of Elections were dismissed by state election officials on Friday for failing to meet basic requirements.
Motions before the North Carolina State Board of Elections to call for evidentiary hearings in the complaints against Patricia Sheppard and Louella Thompson both failed 2-3 along party lines.
The complaintant, Bladen County Republican Party leader Wayne Shaeffer, was not present on the phone-meeting, nor was any legal representation.
Patricia Sheppard was represented on the call by former NCSBE chair Joshua Malcolm.
Malcolm argued that complaints presented to the board have strict requirements, and that the complaint submitted by Schaeffer lacked to fulfill those requirements. […]”
The complaints being dismissed so perfunctorily stinks of leniency for political allies. The fact that Malcolm, stained by his own partisan communications baggage, is representing the Bladen Democrats to the Board, now in an official capacity, is too funny. The complaints are of a nature familiar to the Board, too, as yet another former Cooper-appointed chairman was ousted after his own bout of anti-Trump tirades on social media caused concerns.
All of that is not on it’s own surprising. However, holding a meeting to determine whether a full length hearing is necessary and not even having the complaintant there to present his case seems, at the very least, bad form.
“[…] Ken Raymond, who moved that the board hold a hearing, said he was disappointed Schaeffer was not on the call, but that he had serious concerns about the ability of the accused board members to conduct their jobs impartially.
“This is something we need to address going into an election year,” he said. “We cannot have board members who appear to be incapable of performing their duties in an impartial and non partisan manner.” […]”
Alas, the Democrats voted against exploring the issue further. ‘Nothing to see here’ won the day. Read more about the original complaints here.