State Board of Elections schedules Saturday meeting; Bladen County protest on agenda

Published: Dec. 1, 2016 at 7:33 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2016 at 11:29 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The North Carolina State Board of Elections will meet on Saturday, Dec. 3, with an election protest from Bladen County on the agenda.

McCrae Dowless, the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, filed the protest with the county board a week after election day. Dowless alleged "a massive scheme to run an absentee ballot mill involving hundreds of ballots, perpetrated by and through the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC, a political-action committee funded by the N.C. Democrat Party and other prominent statewide Democrats."

The State Board of Elections took jurisdiction of the protest soon after it was filed with the Bladen County Board of Elections.

State law says the board must first meet to determine if the protest establishes probable cause that there has been a "violation of election law or irregularity or misconduct has occurred."

If the board feels the protest did not meet one or both of those requirements, it can dismiss the protest. If the board feels the requirements are met, it schedules a full hearing on the protest. In this case, it is likely the full hearing would happen during the same meeting on Saturday.

Cynthia Shaw, the elections director in Bladen County, said Thursday the county board has still not scheduled a date to canvass the election results. The county board has waited for guidance from the state board, since it took jurisdiction over Dowless' protest.

Copyright 2016 WECT. All rights reserved.