This article first appeared at American Lens News on November 23, 2016
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has officially requested an official recount according to a letter sent to the state’s board of elections (SBE) on November 18th.
The McCrory recount letter cites potential voter fraud as the main concern:
“With serious concerns of potential voter fraud emerging across the state, it is becoming more apparent that a thorough recount is one way the people of North Carolina can have confidence in the results, process and system.”
The letter is available for viewing at the end of this article.
According to state statute, when a race has a difference of fewer than 10,000 votes separating two candidates, by law a recount may be requested. Two races fall under this criteria, that of the Governor’s race and that of the State Auditor’s race, where incumbent Democrat Beth Woods leads Republican Chuck Stuber by only 2,918 votes or .o6%.
As of this article, Cooper leads McCrory by 6,117 votes or .13%, but that number is in constant flux as canvasing efforts continue. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s lead over McCrory has continually hovered around 1/10th of 1% since election night.
Cooper had taken an early lead on Election night, but McCrory overtook him sometime after 9 pm. McCrory maintained a lead of just over 60,000 votes until just past midnight when around 90,000 ballots suddenly materialized in Durham County.
Despite the election not yet being finalized and a recount being requested, on Tuesday Attorney General Roy Cooper proceeded to announce the forming a transition team.
On Tuesday evening a protest, organized by a triangle affiliate of a social justice group called “Showing Up for Racial Justice”, was held at the NC GOP headquarters before migrating to the Governor’s mansion. The purpose of these protests seems to be an attempt shame the Governor into conceding the race.
More On The Election Protests Filed
A malfeasance complaint was filed in Durham by attorney Tom Stark, who is affiliated with the Durham Republican party. The malfeasance complaint was dismissed by the Durham Board of Elections, however, the complaint raised serious questions about the 90,000 ballots that materialized that include the possibilities of both machine and human error.
The Durham malfeasance complaint alleges that multiple voting machine memory cards were corrupted, yet officials used those memory cards to produce a printed tape log of results and, “then manually transcribed each number recorded onto the system’s DRAM into the Unity system.”
Another election protest was filed by a Democrat in Bladen County, which brought evidence to light of a possible absentee ballot mill operation and started a chain reaction of similar filings. Around 50 such protests were filed in the last week in counties across the state.
This past Tuesday, a public hearing held in Raleigh by the SBE to deal with the question of the protests and provide clarity to the counties.
According to a brief exchange at the Tuesday between SBE board member Joshua Malcolm and Executive Director Kim Strach, there is activity of ‘serious concern’ in Bladen County.
Malcolm asked Strach if state board staff been deployed to Bladen. Strach replied, “Yes sir.” Malcolm followed up and asked if Strach has serious concerns based on reports coming out Bladen. Strach again replied, “Yes sir.”
After that exchange, the SBE voted to take over jurisdiction in the Bladen case. It was suggested that perhaps Durham county should be included in the motion, however, Durham was not added as board members felt that the Durham case will, ‘probably be coming to them anyway’.
Another area being put into question is that of same-day voter registrations. The current procedure in North Carolina is for same-day registrants ballots to be counted and included in the certified results before most of those registrations are actually verified.
American Lens found that hundreds of college students in Durham and Wake counties had used same-day registration using one or two similar addresses. One such address on the Duke campus turned out to be a parking lot.
On Tuesday, the Civitas Institute announced they had filed a federal lawsuit against the SBE over same-day registrations.
As reported earlier today, reporting on what this lawsuit entails has already been mischaracterized in the media as wanting to throw out same-day registrants ballots. That’s not the case at all.
The Civitas suit asks for the certification of election results to be postponed until all of the same-day voter registrations in the state can be verified through the mail verification process.
View Governor McCrory’s recount request: