Bladen election officials prepare for possible election

The board voted 2-1 in favor of hiring a new elections director

Bladen election officials prepare for possible election
Bladen county elections board members debate the timing of hiring a new elections director

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WBTV) - The Bladen County Board of Elections is making preparations and decisions as if a new election in the 9th Congressional District was imminent. The board voted 2-1 in favor of hiring a new elections director saying they just couldn’t wait with the possibility of a new election looming large.

But it wasn't a unanimous decision and nobody was backing down from their viewpoint on the issue.

Board members Rob Davis and Bobby Ludlum want to move fast saying they must act as if a new election is imminent. The North Carolina State Board of Elections is investigating allegations of election fraud in the 9th Congressional District race between Mark Harris (R) and Dan McCready (D) and other races. The NCSBE can call for a new race if necessary.

"I don't think we can delay much longer," Ludlum said.

"We're up against a possible election, both primary and another general election, and I don't believe in waiting any longer."

But board member Al Daniels believes Bladen County will likely face the same problems if they don't revise the job responsibilities.

"If you do the same thing the same way you're likely to get the same outcome," Daniels said.

But with one seat empty after Vice Chair Jens Lutz resigned after allegations of election fraud surfaced, Adams and Ludlum outvoted Daniels and moved forward with advertising for a new director with the possibility of hiring in a couple of weeks.

Board members denied our request for an interview but they are talking with North Carolina state elections officials as their investigation into election fraud continues.

A spokesperson for the NCSBE declined comment on their investigation but said it would not be uncommon for their office to send assistance to Bladen County if a new election is called for.

“Very often when counties have new directors or have some kind of issues arise, we have people up here on our elections team who will go to these counties. So it’s not unusual at all,” NCSBE spokesperson Patrick Gannon said.

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