Hickey's campaign says absentee ballots found on public server, personal info exposed
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County commissioner candidate Derrick Hickey's campaign team began its own investigation in response to an election protest that was filed Wednesday.
John Christian Anderson filed the protest alleging election officials at the Williston precinct interfered with voters, which impacted the integrity of the vote at that polling location.
The affidavit claims, "precinct officials did not regularly inspect the voting enclosures after each voter."
As part of its investigation into these allegations, Hickey's team reviewed the public email server, which is open for anyone to access information.
According to a news release from Hickey's campaign, a stockpile of voted absentee ballots were found on the server. They say many of the ballots were from members of the military and their family members.
"We were actually able to view images of completed ballots," Hickey's campaign wrote in a news release. "We also found personal information, including driver licenses, dates of birth, addresses and the last four of social security numbers of registered voters who had requested absentee ballots."
While it is unclear if these ballots were counted in the election, Hickey's campaign says it is clear they were received and made public before Election Day.
"At a minimum, the people whose personal information has been released need to be notified and the state board of elections must take steps to ensure the privacy of voter's ballots and protection of their personal information," Hickey's campaign wrote.
Hickey was in the lead for the second open commissioner seat on election night with only the Williston precinct needing to be counted. Democratic Candidate Rob Zapple ended up receiving 1,037 votes to Hickey's 71 in that precinct.
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