NC State Board of Elections denies Bladen County protest that implicated North Carolina Democrat Party of possible fraud, Criminal investigation mentioned in Nov 20 meeting, Perkins Coie helped Obama now helping Cooper et al to hide fraud?
Mary Johnson, witness for 74 ballots, $450;
Lola Wooten, witness for 58 ballots, $500;
Deborah Cogdell, witness for 45 ballots (including both witnesses on 1 ballot), $300; and
Bridgette Keaton, witness for 16 ballots, $630.”…Bladen County NC election protest
“The end justifies the means, the template of the left.”…Citizen Wells
“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”…George Orwell, “1984″
The following facts regarding the Bladen County NC election protest are presented without commentary.
From Citizen Wells November 19, 2016.
“From the McCrory website.
“Hundreds of Fraudulent Cooper Ballots Discovered, Challenged In Bladen County
N.C. Democrat Party-Funded PAC Involved In Apparent Massive Voter Fraud Scheme”
“A formal protest has been filed with the Bladen County Board of Elections to challenge several hundred apparently fraudulent absentee ballots cast for Roy Cooper and other Democrats in Bladen County. Initial evidence laid out in the protest suggests 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.””
From the NC State Board of Elections emergency meeting of November 20, 2016.
Mr. Malcolm: “Ms Strach is it true that state board staff has been deployed to Bladen County to investigate allegations related to the most recent election?”
Director Strach: “Yes sir.”
Mr. Malcolm: “Is it true you’ve been in constant contact with those folks as to what they have learned during the course of their investigation?”
Director Strach: “Yes sir.”
Mr. Malcolm: “Is it true that what’s been reported back to you rises to the level to create concern in your mind to whether inappropriate activities by individuals within or perhaps outside the county whether things like that have occurred.
Director Strach: “Yes sir.”
Mr. Malcolm: “Umm, Mr. Chairman in the interest of keeping the active, what may be perceived as a criminal investigation outside the purview of the public, it’s my recommendation that this board exercise its authority under 163-182.12 and take jurisdiction over the allegations known and unknown that are occurring or have occurred in Bladen county as it relates to the most recent election on November 8.”
The dialogue can be heard at 1:41:38.
Kevin Hamilton of Perkins Coie on December 2, 2016 sent a letter to the NC State Board of Elections on behalf of Roy Cooper and NC Democrat Party.
“Re: In re Protest of Election by Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr.
Dear Members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections:
I write on behalf of Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Democratic Party. The purpose of this letter is to request that the Board take no action with regard to the Election Protest filed by Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. that would disenfranchise voters who committed no election law violation, and to count their votes, at least with regard to elections that are not implicated in Mr. Dowless’s Protest.
Mr. Dowless’s Protest alleges that individuals assisting voters, rather than the voters themselves, wrote the name of write-in candidate “Franklin Graham” on “hundreds” of ballots. See Protest § 6. The protest appears to be alleging a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. §163-226.3(a)(1), which makes it a felony “[f]or any person except the voter’s near relative or the voter’s verifiable legal guardian to assist the voter to vote an absentee ballot when the voter is voting an absentee ballot other than under the procedure described in G.S. 163-227.2;
provided that if there is not a near relative or legal guardian available to assist the voter, the voter may request some other person to give assistance.”1
1 To the extent Mr. Dowless’s Protest alleges that individuals served as a witness for multiple absentee ballots, that is not a violation of law; and it certainly is not a violation of law by the voter, who would have no reason to know how many envelopes a particular individual has signed as a witness.
We do not know what evidence the Board will hear during its hearing to consider this protest. If the Board determines that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-226.3(a)(1) was violated, but that the voters themselves did intend to vote in the manner indicated on their ballots, then we would respectfully submit that those ballots should be counted.
North Carolina law is clear that voter’s choices are to be determined and respected. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-182.1(a). “No official ballot shall be rejected because of technical errors in marking it, unless it is impossible to clearly determine the voter’s choice.” Id. § 163-182(a)(2). Improper assistance may be a crime on the part of the assister, but it is certainly not a crime committed by the voter, much less a reason to disregard his or her ballot. See id. § 163-226.3(a)(1).
Even if the Board determines that certain write-in votes were not, in fact, the choice of the voter, North Carolina law still compels the counting of other votes on the ballot so long as those votes reflect the voter’s choice. “If it is impossible to clearly determine a voter’s choice in a ballot item, the official ballot shall not be counted for that ballot item, but shall be counted in all other ballot items in which the voter’s choice can be clearly determined.” Id. §163-182.1(a)(3).
Finally, the only election specifically protested by Mr. Dowless was “November 8, 2016, Bladen County, Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.” Protest § 4. While Mr. Dowless does make a general reference to “all other candidates on the ballot in this November 8, 2016 General Election in Bladen County,” id., the removal of any ballots implicated would not “cast doubt on the results of” most of those elections. N.C. Gen. Stat. §163-182.10(d)(2)c. It would be contrary to the letter and spirit of North Carolina law, and contrary to the Board’s order of November 28, 2016, ordering the dismissal of protests that do not allege sufficient numerical issues to cast doubt on the results of an election, to refuse
to give effect to voters’ intent in elections that are not cast in doubt. Thus, the Board should count voters’ choices in the gubernatorial election, and in all other elections that are neither affected by the write-in vote nor close enough to be affected by the potential removal of these votes.
Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Kevin J. Hamilton
Attorney for Cooper for North Carolina and the North Carolina Democratic Party”
John Branch, McCrory attorney, letter to NC Board of Elections.
From the NC State Board of Elections December 4, 2016.
State Board dismisses Bladen County protests
SBE: State Board dismisses Bladen County protests
RALEIGH, N.C. – The State Board of Elections voted Saturday to dismiss the election protest of Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. of Bladen County, citing a lack of substantial evidence of a violation of election law or other irregularity or misconduct sufficient to cast doubt on the results of the election.
The State Board also unanimously dismissed a protest on appeal from Kenneth Register of Bladen County, citing the same reason.
Board member Joshua D. Malcolm also made a motion for the State Board to make available to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina any and all information in the State Board’s possession regarding the 2016 general election in Bladen County. That motion passed unanimously.
From the Greensboro News Record December 3, 2016.
“McCrory asks SBI to look into potential voter fraud
The State Board of Elections dismissed a complaint originating from a rural North Carolina county that could have prevented scores of ballots from being counted in close races for governor and auditor.
The board voted 3-2 on Saturday to reject the protest from a Bladen County candidate, who with assistance from Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign, alleged workers for a political committee that received Democratic funds fraudulently filled out absentee ballots.
Lawyers pushing the complaint suggested the board could throw out as many as 419 mail-in absentee ballots. They said evidence showed that a losing write-in candidate for soil and water conservation district supervisor showed up on nearly 170 ballots and may have originated from only seven people. The lawyers said none of those ballots should be tallied for any races.”
“”We have an obligation to ensure that every vote is counted accurately and that our elections process is conducted legally,” said McCrory. “Any verified instance of voter fraud or other illegal activity should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Republican elections board member James Baker joined the panel’s two Democrats in dismissing the complaint, saying voters signed the absentee ballots. There was no substantial evidence to suggest the choices weren’t their own, they said.
“I don’t see how we could deprive them of their vote … for every other race because we have some pretty serious misgivings about the soil and water race,” Baker said at the close of four hours of testimony and discussion. The board’s other two Republicans voted against dismissal.”
Perkins Coie represented Obama in numerous legal cases.