CHARLOTTE – Bladen County is not the only area where apparent ballot irregularities are calling election results into question. In the Charlotte area, specifically N.C. House District 103, the race between incumbent Republican Representative Bill Brawley and Democratic challenger Rachel Hunt was decided by a mere 68 votes in the latter’s favor. Now the N.C. Values Coalition is claiming to have discovered irregularities that warrant the N.C. House putting a hold on seating Hunt just yet.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“In a letter to Republican House Speaker Tim Moore, Coalition executive director Tami Fitzgerald said, “(W)e are asking you not to seat Representative-Elect Rachel Hunt until the House fully investigates the voter irregularities we have uncovered.”
The Values Coalition argues that more than 300 absentee by mail ballots were cast that had discrepancies between the date the voter signed the ballot envelope and one or both of the witnesses or notary public signed. It said that indicates the ballots were not signed in front of witnesses as required by law.[…]”
If those the witness/signatures discrepancy is true, those ballots in question could be thrown out, meaning the 68 vote margin of victory for Hunt is erased and Brawley comes out on top.
However, the State Board contends that the dates do not have to match, and while it may be worthy of investigation, the date mismatches in themselves to not warrant throwing those ballots out.
“Board spokesman Patrick Gannon said state law doesn’t require the dates to match. He said the witness dates were added simply to help investigators and elections officials identify possible irregularities.
But Fitzgerald accused the state board of “malfeasance” in giving those instructions to county boards.
Gannon defended the board.
“Our agency welcomes all credible evidence of alleged misconduct,” he said in a statement. “Today’s characterizations of this agency’s efforts miss the mark.”
In a separate statement to reporters, he said, “While date discrepancies may suggest a good starting point for an investigation, they are not in and of themselves reasons for voters to have their votes thrown out. It is possible that a witness may write the wrong date or sign on a date after they actually witnessed the marking of the ballot.”
That makes some sense, but it also raises a good question: How can you prove the ballot was properly, legally witnessed if the dates don’t match?
Current law requires the witness to be present for the voter completing the absentee ballot. If the dates don’t match, isn’t that a reason to question whether that legal requirement was followed? #NCPOL https://t.co/2ahifYqmQv
— Brent Woodcox (@BrentWoodcox) January 9, 2019
At the very least, an investigation should be held to determine if there is merit to these claims. In the mean time, wouldn’t it follow that Ms. Hunt not be seated at the General Assembly until it’s all sorted out? That is exactly the position of Democrats when it comes to the NC-09 fraud saga related to Republican Mark Harris. So are they consistent int heir approach?
“N.C. Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin called the Coalition effort “a desperate, last minute attempt to deny a seat to a lawfully-elected representative.”
“The Mecklenburg and the State Board of Elections have both certified Rachel Hunt as (the district’s) representative,” he said, “and she will officially assume that seat tomorrow.””
Oh, how the script flips when the shoe is on the other foot! Mr. Goodwin, here, has been part of the chorus on the Left demanding that Mark Harris not be seated, while Republicans say they are denying ‘a lawfully-elected representative’ their seat in congress.
After all, all the NC-09 counties certified the election results before the Gov. Roy Cooper’s Democratic operative on the State Board made a motion to not certify that race. With the N.C. House District 103 being a considerably smaller margin of victory, and apparent irregularities existing, why wouldn’t it get the same level of scrutiny?
Because it’s a Democrat who came out on top, plain and simple.
It’s truly amazing to watch party leaders, on both sides, reverse themselves on a nearly identical issue in the interest of scoring a political win. There may have been illegal vote harvesting perpetrated in the 9th Congressional District, and there may have been sufficient irregularities in the N.C. House 103 race to change the result. Both should be treated consistently; either both are seated, or both are not until investigations reach a conclusion.
Otherwise, it’s almost as if partisan considerations are motivating the consequential actions of the State Elections Board, which is anathema to a fair and transparent elections process.
Brawley was at the focus of the Left’s ire after introducing and passing a bill that allowed for neighborhood schools independent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district. Those towns have been getting the short end of the stick being lorded over by the behemoth bureaucracy of CMS. Such school choice is virulently opposed by the Left, because it reduces the top-down control they seek in education. Predictably, the Left claimed the town-schools experiment to be racist because the towns happen to be majority white.
So Democrats like Board of Elections chair Joshua Malcolm would be all to happy to certify Hunt’s razor thin victory over Brawley, while at the same issue a full stop on Harris’ apparent victory over Democrat Dan McCready.
Read more from the Charlotte Observer here.