Raleigh, N.C. – 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.
The protest, filed by Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor McCrae Dowless and corroborated by a forensic handwriting expert, notes “shocking evidence resulting from a blatant scheme to try to impact the voting results of an entire county and perhaps even sway statewide and federal elections,” including the gubernatorial race.
Click here to read the protest.
“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. “The staggering evidence of voter fraud in Bladen County and the number of similar PACs that the North Carolina Democratic Party donated to shortly before the start of early vote requires close examination throughout the state.”
The fraudulent ballots were identified as problematic after Dowless brought suspicions of voter fraud in his race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor to the attention of the Bladen County Board of Elections prior to Election Day.
According to Bladen County Board of Elections officials, an “overwhelming number” of suspicious write-in votes cast for Democrat Franklin Graham in the race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor appear to have “overtly similar” handwriting patterns on the ballots and witness signatures. In many cases, dozens of ballots appear to be filled out and witnessed by the same person without indicating that any voter assistance was provided, a clear example of voter fraud in violation of North Carolina election law. The county and state Boards of Elections are investigating.
Click here to read the letter from the Bladen County Board of Elections to the State Board of Elections.
Yesterday, the Bladen County Board of Elections allowed the ballots in question to be reviewed by a forensic handwriting expert who corroborated the account that numerous ballots were filled out by the same people. In addition to the write-in votes for Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, the fraudulent absentee ballots appear to have been mostly straight ticket votes for Democrats in all other offices, including gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper.
The protest filed by Dowless challenges the fraudulent votes cast in the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor race in addition to all other votes cast in state, local and federal races listed on these ballots. The protest calls for the invalidation of these votes as fraudulent.
Many of the witnesses who filled out and signed the fraudulent ballots in question have received financial disbursements from the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC for “G.O.T.V.”, according to disclosure reports filed with the State Board of Elections. It is illegal to exchange money for votes or to pay someone to commit voter fraud in the State of North Carolina and under federal law.
Dowless lists many striking examples in his protest, including one very active absentee ballot "witness" who personally validated at least 67 mail-in absentee ballots and appeared to have written in Franklin Graham at least 71 times. In further shocking evidence of this scheme, the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC filed reports with the North Carolina State Board of Elections admitting they paid these individuals multiple payments for “G.O.T.V." or "Get-Out-The-Vote" operations.
According to disclosure reports, among the largest contributors to the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC are the North Carolina Democratic Party and candidates for statewide and countywide offices, such as: Mike Morgan, Wake County district court judge and Supreme Court justice-elect; June Atkinson, superintendent of public instruction; Ken Spaulding, former gubernatorial candidate; Dan Blue III, state senator and former candidate for state treasurer; Chris Rey, mayor of Spring Lake and former candidate for U.S. Senate; G. Michael Cogdell, Bladen County commissioner.
Click here to download recent financial disclosure forms: 2016 Q1; 2016 Q2; 2016 Q3.
The Bladen County Improvement Association PAC has been operating in North Carolina for 30 years and has had longstanding ties to prominent Democrat leaders, including former Democrat State Senators Tony Rand, R.C. Soles and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan. Little else is known about the PAC or its activities, but according to a recent report by WWAY, it is suspected to be run by sitting Democrats on the Bladen County Commission.