Democrat 'Absentee Ballot Mill' Alleged in Bladen County | Beaufort County Now | McCrae Dowless, who won election as supervisor of Bladen County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, has filed a complaint with his county board of elections, alleging “literally hundreds of fraudulent ballots were cast” in a “massive scheme to run an absentee ballot mill”

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    Publisher's note: The author of this post is Rick Henderson, who is editor-in-chief for the Carolina Journal, John Hood Publisher.

    McCrae Dowless, who won election as supervisor of Bladen County's Soil and Water Conservation District, has filed a complaint with his county board of elections, alleging "literally hundreds of fraudulent ballots were cast" in a "massive scheme to run an absentee ballot mill" that was funded, at least indirectly, by the state Democratic Party.

    James Brian Hehl, a member of the Bladen County Board of Elections wrote the State Board of Elections on Nov. 1, noting that while reviewing absentee ballots that had not been counted by machine, the handwriting on a number of them appeared to belong to two voter "witnesses" - one of whom wrote in the name "Franklin Graham" on 71 absentee ballots. The witness had been compensated for "get out the vote" work by the Bladen County Improvement Association, a political action committee that has received much of its funding from the N.C. Democratic Party (see disclosure form beginning on page 7 of this PDF).

    Gov. Pat McCrory's re-election campaign issued a press release, stating: "With hundreds of fraudulent votes found in just one North Carolina county for a straight Democratic ticket, close examination of this election is required to make sure the true winner of the election is properly determined," said Jason Torchinsky, legal counsel for the Pat McCrory Committee Legal Defense Fund.

    Earlier today, the Durham County Board of Elections voted 2-1 to schedule an evidentiary hearing Friday at 11 a.m. to consider a complaint filed by Durham County voter and NCGOP General Counsel Thomas Stark challenging more than 94,000 ballots that were reported late on election night. A representative of the company that manufactures the ballot-counting machines said its equipment was incapable of handling the number of ballots at the rate they were submitted initially but that the ballots were counted correctly later that night.

    Dowless' formal complaint is here.

    Check back with Carolina Journal Online for additional updates.
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