By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
November 18, 2016
RALEIGH – When Donald Trump was winning the White House on November 8th, the mood for the NCGOP was festive. Incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) was leading Attorney General Roy Cooper in the gubernatorial race by approximately 50,000 votes. That mood changed considerably, however, when Durham County dropped in more than 90,000 votes from early-voting sites and Cooper took the lead with less than a 5,000 vote spread between them.
That prompted McCrory to come out around 12:30 am Wednesday (Nov. 9th) to argue before his supporters that the results of the race were too close to call. The final results, he said, would depend on the canvassing by the counties which should be complete by November 18th. In the meantime, amid concerns of voter irregularities in Durham County, the Governor promised that he and his team would be working to make certain every vote was counted.
Cooper also spoke to his supporters that same night, thanked them for their support and declared victory. He said he felt confident that when the vote was certified it would show him the winner.
By Thursday (Nov. 10th), the Pat McCrory Committee filed paperwork with the North Carolina State Board of Elections to establish a legal defense fund in preparation for an ongoing battle for the state’s highest office.
On Tuesday, (Nov. 15th), a formal protest was filed with the Bladen County Board of Elections challenging hundreds of alleged fraudulent absentee ballots cast for Roy Cooper and other Democrats in the County.
The formal protest read, “The voters of Bladen County, North Carolina, appear to be the victims of a massive scheme to run an absentee ballot mill involving hundreds of ballots, perpetrated by and through the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC.”
The findings in Bladen County would lead to an announcement the next day (Nov. 16th) of formal protests in 11 additional counties regarding more alleged fraudulent absentee ballots cast for Roy Cooper and other Democrats.
According to a statement released by the McCrory campaign:
“In addition to funneling money to the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC, the North Carolina Democratic Party simultaneously transferred money to political action committees in these 11 counties. Similar absentee voting and handwriting patterns as in Bladen County have been discovered in at least one of these counties, suggesting these PACs may have been harvesting and witnessing multiple absentee ballots as well.
“‘It appears that our worst fears have come true and this absentee ballot fraud scheme may run deeper than just Bladen County,’ said Russell Peck, Pat McCrory’s campaign manager. “‘Unfortunately, we may also have uncovered the real reason Roy Cooper fought so hard against efforts to prevent voter fraud as attorney general. These voter fraud concerns must be addressed before the results of the election can be finalized.’”
Thursday, (Nov. 17th) Gov. McCrory posted a Facebook message announcing:
“Protests are being filed in 50 North Carolina counties to challenge known instances of votes being cast by dead people, felons or individuals who voted more than once. Additional ballot protests are expected as additional cases are discovered.”
According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Cooper’s campaign says the complaints are “unacceptable.”
“‘Gov. McCrory has set a new standard for desperation in his attempts to undermine the results of an election he lost,’ Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said in a news release.”
Because of the many complaints, canvassing was not completed by Friday, the November 18th deadline. Moreover, McCrory’s election campaign complaints were also dismissed by Halifax, Wake, and Durham Counties.
The Durham County Elections Board denied a protest calling for a hand recount of the ballots cast last week.
According to media reports, the protest which was filed by Durham resident Thomas Stark, accused the Board of “malfeasance” in assuring the accuracy of the vote counted on Election Day. Stark said he’s considering filing an appeal with the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Although Durham County had to manually enter data when a computer glitch resulted in their needing an extension for voting hours, they continue to defend their work.
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League said, “This race is still a good ways from being over. I think the Washington Post was right when it said it’s about to get ugly and it’s not likely to end until sometime after Thanksgiving.”
Creech also said that if the vote is less than 10,000 between the two candidates when all the votes are finally canvassed, the runner-up could call for a recount.
The worst case scenario would be if the local Board of Elections and the State Board of Elections were unable to settle the contests and certify the results without a challenge. If that were to happen, the election might be passed to the North Carolina General Assembly to decide.
“I think we need to be praying earnestly about this matter,” added Dr. Creech. “I know that I’m praying that if there is corruption in this election that it will be found out and justly addressed. I’m praying that anyone who might be involved in corrupt election activity might be stricken with a deeply burdened conscience, convicted of their sin, and confess. I’m praying that some unjust and wicked actions wouldn’t determine who leads North Carolina, but that righteousness would be established and upheld.”
Other statewide races too close to call at this point include Democratic state auditor Beth Wood and Republican, Chuck Stuber. Wood leads by about 3,000 votes. Democrat Josh Stein currently leads Republican Buck Newton for state attorney general by approximately 20,000 votes.