Election Fraud

  Lawyers file notice of appeal in Columbus County sheriff’s election dispute

Attorneys challenging the outcome of the November election for Columbus County sheriff filed a notice of appeal Friday with the North Carolina State Board of Elections. They also plan to file a complaint and a Motion for a Stay of certification with Wake County Superior Court.

  Recount scheduled in Bladen County Commission race

  NC9 Election Results: Bishop takes GOP primary; Bladen Commissioners’ race decided by four votes

Republican candidates face off in primary NC District 09 election

Bladen County, 9th district vote in election re-do

  Major changes made at Bladen County Board of Elections to improve security

  State elections board sides with Jody Greene; protesters plan appeal; investigators detail absentee ballot activity

Continued Coverage

  Election deception: WECT Investigates spillover of absentee ballot irregularities in Columbus County

  With voter confidence on the line, all eyes on Bladen County as voting gets underway

  Another deputy seeking back pay from Columbus Co., says acting sheriff didn’t have authority to fire him

  Voting along party lines, Columbus County elections board decides Jody Greene was not domiciled in county

  Columbus County elections board hears protest of 2018 sheriff’s race, testimony to continue Thursday

  Absentee voting opens in North Carolina’s 9th district

  Acting sheriff fired deputies despite uncertain election results

In the midst of unprecedented confusion in Columbus County over who should be serving as sheriff, some deputies have been terminated from their job. While North Carolina law generally gives sheriffs broad latitude to fire at will, pending legal challenges bring the recent firings under scrutiny.

  Columbus County BOE sets hearing in disputed sheriff’s race

The board was required by the North Carolina State Board of Elections to hold a hearing into the election protest of Gloria Smith and report back findings by April 5.

  State board sends sheriff’s election protest back to Columbus County, requires officials to take up residency issue

The dispute over the Columbus County sheriff's race is headed back to local officials.

  NCSBE wants ‘fresh start’ in Bladen County, declines to appoint former county elections board members

In order to accomplish that, the NCSBE declined to appoint a full slate of members to the Bladen County Board of Elections because several nominees have served in the role.

NCSBE hearing on Columbus Co. sheriff’s race rescheduled as board considers sending matter back to county

  Protecting your voice: Restoring voter confidence in the wake of election fraud

  NC9 Special Election: Final list of candidates determined

  Search warrants indicate SBI tailed Dowless during 2018 election

  McCrae Dowless received absentee ballot data from Columbus County

Fifth arrest made on election-related crimes connected to NC-9 investigation

  New 9th district election, Bladen County re-dos scheduled

It will be September, if not November, before we know who will serve in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.

  Town commissioner at odds with Bladen sheriff, connected to 9th district figure, voluntarily closes electronic gaming business to avoid raid

The criminal and civil matters have stretched on for years, and the disagreement between a Dublin town commissioner and the Bladen County Sheriff came up during the state's election fraud investigation. But now, at least one chapter is closed.

  NCSBE hearing into Columbus County sheriff’s race postponed; attorneys allowed to gather more evidence

The new date for the hearing is March 18.

  State elections board to schedule new NC9 election, discuss Columbus County Sheriff protest

The roughly 788,000 people of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district will soon have a date to mark on their calendars for the special election for the seat.

  Central figure in election fraud investigation indicted on seven charges

McCrae Dowless has been indicted on seven charges in connection to an investigation into absentee ballot irregularities in the NC District 9 general election.

Chief deputy serving as sheriff despite settlement agreement

Deputy Chief Aaron Herring is running the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Whiteville News Reporter.

NC9 fallout: Candidates look ahead to running in local races, again

The races for Bladen County Commission District 3, Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor and U.S. House of Representatives District 9 will now be re-run. The NCSBE is expected to vote on a schedule in the coming weeks.

  Mark Harris announces he will not run in NC District 9 special election

Harris, who was the unofficial winner of the 9th District election in November, made the announcement just days after a four-day hearing into alleged election fraud held by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

State will monitor new elections in Bladen County

The hearing into election fraud in parts of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district might be over — but the work in Bladen County is just beginning.

State records contradict sheriff’s candidate’s address history

Documents unearthed through a subpoena appear to show contradictory information about when Columbus County Sheriff candidate Jody Greene lived in that county. Greene's residency is the subject of an ongoing challenge to his legal eligibility to serve as sheriff.

Former Gov. Pat McCrory announces he will not run for 9th District seat

Former Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday he will not to run for the seat in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.

  NC9 hearing day 4: State board unanimously votes to hold new election

The state board voted 5-0 to hold a new election for the 9th Congressional district seat, Bladen County Commission District 3, and Bladen County’s Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor. The board did not set a schedule for when the election would happen.

  Day 3 of NC9 hearing: Son of Mark Harris says he found McCrae Dowless suspicious; Red Dome leader continues testimony

The North Carolina State Board of Elections’ hearing drags on with no end in sight as new information emerges about exactly who was suspicious of the absentee ballot activity in Bladen County, and when they became aware.

  NC9 hearing day 2: Witness indicates early vote totals leaked, Red Dome leader testifies

Day two of the North Carolina State Elections Board hearing into possible election fraud in District 9.

  NC9 hearing: McCrae Dowless, man at the center of the investigation into election fraud, refuses to testify as state presents evidence

An evidentiary hearing is underway at the North Carolina State Bar as the state board of elections weeds through the results of its election fraud investigation.

  With hearing set to begin, a look back at the election fraud investigation

The North Carolina State Board of Elections will take up the query into alleged fraud in the state’s 9th district and beyond on Monday, Feb. 18, but the road to the Raleigh hearing has been long and winding.

  Final documents set stage for election fraud hearing

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, parties on both sides of the aisle submitted their final argument briefs for consideration, as well as a list of witnesses attorneys intend to call.

  State concerned over Columbus County board’s dismissal of election protest on technicality

Email from State Board of Elections attorney Joshua Lawson to Columbus County attorney Amanda Prince raises questions about the Columbus County Board of Elections' handling of a protest filed in the sheriff’s race.

  Hatcher, Greene reach settlement over disputed sheriff seat; lawsuit officially dismissed

Jody Greene will remain acting sheriff in Columbus County for at least a few more days.

  Hatcher dismissing lawsuit, Greene stepping aside as acting sheriff in Columbus Co.

Attorneys released a joint statement late Thursday night from Lewis Hatcher and Jody Greene. They've reached an agreement that results in Hatcher dismissing his lawsuit and Greene stepping aside as acting sheriff while state elections officials resolve pending elections protests.

  Harris team asks for subpoenas for Dowless, other key players in 9th district investigation

The legal team for Republican Mark Harris wants several key players in the investigation into alleged election fraud in Bladen County and beyond to appear in person at the hearing scheduled for Feb. 18.

  Citing election fraud hearing, lack of information, NCSBE will not appoint new members to election boards in Bladen, Columbus counties

Two counties in Southeastern North Carolina will remain without a county board of elections for the immediate future.

  Despite no evidence of building permits, Greene files documents saying he is building dream home on property

The documents also show more than 40 people in the Cerro Gordo area submitted affidavits claiming Greene lives on the property.

NCSBE sets hearing for election fraud investigation

More than two months after originally putting the certification of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district race on hold, there is finally a date-certain for learning an outcome.

  Cooper names new state board of elections

A month after a court ruling dissolved the nine-member North Carolina State Board of Elections, the new version of the board finally has its members.

  Greene pays $25K bond to keep sheriff’s seat, for now

Acting Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene has posted a $25,000 bond to keep his seat as sheriff, for now. Wake County Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley ordered Greene to pay that bond as part of an ongoing legal dispute over who is the rightful sheriff of Columbus County.

  Grange named co-chair of state House elections committee

A New Hanover County state representative was given a key leadership role in the North Carolina General Assembly.

  Greene has yet to post required $25K bond in dispute over rightful sheriff

Attorneys for Lewis Hatcher have filed documents requesting detailed financial information, property records, and personnel records for Jody Greene in their attempt to prove Hatcher should still be serving as Columbus County sheriff.

  Judge denies request to certify NC-9 race

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway will consider a petition from Republican Mark Harris for a Writ of Mandamus, a request asking the court to force the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to certify him as the winner of the contest.

Woman’s ballot thought to be missing was actually counted; state cites clerical error

Patrick Gannon, spokesperson for the state agency, said it was a clerical error that led to the belief Herring’s vote was not counted.

McCready campaign, NCSBE call for Harris petition to be dismissed

Wake County Superior Court has not set a date to hear a petition from Republican Mark Harris — but the stage is set for one.

  Hearing scheduled in dispute over rightful sheriff of Columbus County

A judge from another jurisdiction is heading to Columbus County this week to hear arguments that Lewis Hatcher should be reinstated as Sheriff.

  Advocacy groups hold rally over election fraud investigation delay

Voters and leaders of advocacy groups from across North Carolina gathered in Raleigh on Friday to express their frustration with the delays in the election fraud investigation.

In new affidavit, Bladen Elections chairman says staff found forged absentee ballot request forms

The Chairman of the Bladen County Board of Elections filed a new affidavit, made public for the first time Friday, that said staff at the county board of elections found three absentee ballot request forms submitted in the 2018 general election that had been forged.

  Experts say uncertainty in 9th district could last months

Experts in North Carolina’s political landscape and election law say no matter which path the investigation goes down, the process will likely take months.

Mark Harris runs from reporters at government building in Charlotte

Republican Mark Harris ran from a group of reporters and set off a fire alarm at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government building Monday night.

  Community members pack commissioners meeting discussing sheriff’s legitimacy

Supporters for Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene and former Sheriff Lewis Hatcher packed the Dempsey B. Herring Courthouse Annex on Monday night for the first county commissioners meeting since questions were raised about the legitimacy of Greene’s win in the November general election.

  Hatcher files motion to be reinstated as sheriff

Taking matters into his own hands, former Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher on Friday filed an injunction requesting a judge revoke the recently elected sheriff’s powers and allow him to resume the role of the top law enforcement officer in the county.

  Harris files request for court order demanding he be certified in 9th district

On Nov. 30, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted 7-2 to not certify Harris, who unofficially leads the race for the seat against Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes, as the winner of the contest.

  Harris plans to file legal action seeking certification in NC-9 election

The campaign of Republican Mark Harris said he plans to file a legal challenge on Thursday that will ask a court to order he immediately be certified as the winner of the 9th Congressional District election.

  Election fraud hearing postponed; Cooper will not appoint new board, calls lack of GOP support ‘obstruction’

There will be no new state board of elections — at least for the time being.

Rep. Pittenger reflects on congressional tenure in announcement not to run in possible new primary

In a formal statement a day after a brief announcement, Pittenger said he will not run in any new primary that may result from the election fraud investigation underway in the district.

  McCready campaign moves forward with fraud hearing suggestions despite uncertainty

The campaign wants no fewer than 48 people to be compelled to attend the hearing.

  Tumultuous day leaves more questions than answers in election fraud investigation

With less than 90 minutes to go before the North Carolina State Board of Elections is set to dissolve, both Governor Roy Cooper and Republican Mark Harris released their solutions to the problem.

Future of NCSBE, election fraud investigation in flux as court denies extension, General Assembly overrides veto

Just hours after a vote to override the governor's latest veto, a court ruling further complicated the state's elections board.

  Cooper calls GOP plan to override veto of elections bill ‘astonishing,’ asks citizens to press legislators

With just five days to go before the new North Carolina General Assembly is sworn in, republican legislators are preparing to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of House Bill 1029.

McCready campaign submits affidavits in election fraud investigation

As state investigators continue digging into the irregularities with absentee by mail ballots in Bladen, Robeson and Columbus County, the involved parties are turning over affidavits and other documents.

  Despite word from NCSBE, Columbus County officials say they can’t address sheriff discrepancy

On Election Day, Greene led Hatcher by 34 votes, and after a recount, by 37 votes. However, multiple protests were filed with the county elections office in regard to Greene’s campaign.

  Hatcher says he’s willing to serve Columbus Co. as sheriff if asked to resume duties

Jody Greene was sworn in on Dec. 3, but questions remain if the sheriff should be serving during the protest period.

Hidden in plain sight: A decade of local politics culminates in national election fraud investigation

In a small office space located just a few blocks off US Highway 701, two women held down operations as the phones rang nearly non-stop for a week.

Central figure in NC-09 investigation refuses interview with investigators

A key figure in the ongoing investigation into voting irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District has refused an interview with investigators with the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

  What to do if you think you are a victim of election fraud

If you think you’re a victim of election fraud, attorneys want you to know what to do.

  Person working for Dowless says in text message: ‘I’m scared...I’ve never been investigated for anything’

The North Carolina State Board of Elections released a lengthy report Wednesday on findings that could influence the investigation into election fraud in Bladen County.

Bladen County Town Hall: What happened to the ballots in Bladen County?

Democracy North Carolina, Progress North Carolina Action, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, NC NAACP, NC Black Alliance, and Blueprint NC are hosting a town hall meeting Tuesday in Bladenboro.

Lawyer for central figure in NC-09 investigation releases statement, denies client broke law

The lawyer for a man who has come to be a central figure in the ongoing scrutiny over potential voting irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District has issued a statement on her client’s behalf.

Cooper to veto bill addressing NC-09 election redo

North Carolina’s governor says he’s vetoing legislation directing new elections if fraud is found in a disputed U.S. House race because the hastily approved bill also adds new cover for lobbyists and people who violate campaign finance laws.

  At least 21 candidates used Dowless, Red Dome over last decade

These candidates, whose constituencies cover Bladen County, Columbus County, Pender County, Brunswick County and New Hanover County, all listed Dowless, Red Dome, Politico Management Services or Patriots for Progress on their official campaign finance reports.

  Bladen Co. commissioners adopt resolution asking state board to certify political races

The resolution asking the state Board of Elections to certify the three races in question passed 5-4.