Pence calls for extra eyes at polling sites

Posted 3:25 p.m. Tuesday
Updated 10:25 p.m. Tuesday

— Minutes after he walked through the burned-out offices of the Orange County Republican Party, GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence called Tuesday for extensive poll-watching nationwide during the upcoming election.

Pence spoke with several volunteers in the offices, which were targeted in a Saturday night firebomb attack that Pence referred to as cowardly, senseless and "political terrorism."

"An attack on our political system is an attack on us all," he told reporters outside the offices, adding party workers "will not be intimidated."

Evidence from the scene has been sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Va., for analysis, police said, adding that investigators are confident a Molotov cocktail was used to cause the damage. Local and federal investigators also are reviewing video from nearby security cameras for evidence, police said.

After giving thanks that no one was inside the offices at the time of the attack, Pence criticized a dearth of nationwide coverage of the incident, saying a similar attack on a Democratic office would have generated national headlines.

The disparate treatment, he said, supports the position of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump that there is "overwhelming media bias" in favor of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

"I've been astonished at the level of negative coverage of my running mate and the scant coverage of an avalanche of scandals and corruption coming out of the campaign of Hillary Clinton," Pence said.

WikiLeaks has released numerous emails in recent days obtained from hacked accounts detailing actions Clinton and her aides took.

Pence then urged supporters to take part in poll-watching during the election, noting there have been instances of voter fraud in the past. Trump also has routinely suggested that the election has been rigged in favor of Clinton.

"Donald Trump and I are encouraging all of our supporters around the country and, frankly, every American whatever their politics to take the opportunity to be involved in a respectful way in providing accountability at our polling places," he said. "The one-person, one-vote principle is the very bedrock of our democracy, and ensuring through participation in the process of assembling the vote between now and Nov. 8 is a certain way that the American people can ensure the integrity of this election."

Word of Pence's unannounced visit spread quickly through Hillsborough, attracting a crowd to the GOP offices.

"They told us Pence was coming, and I told my dad we had to come down here and see him," Arielle Webster said.

"I thought it was cool he’d take time out of his day to be with us and support us," Simon Little said.

"I thought it was a good move," Ethan Stroud said. "He said some good words about it."

Pence discusses Supreme Court, questions Clinton in Fayetteville stop

Following his stop in Hillsboro, Pence held a rally in Fayetteville, where he touched on several key topics during a 30 minute speech.

Pence arrived in Fayetteville to the cheers of a couple of hundred people and immediately acknowledged current events specific to North Carolina, including Hurricane Matthew and the incident at the GOP office.

“I saw firsthand the courageous volunteers and how the people of North Carolina will not be intimidated and will not be deterred,” he said.

Pence quickly moved on to the business of discussing Hillary Clinton and questioning her ethics.

“I get up every day and it’s basically the national media doing half of Hillary Clinton’s work for her every day,” he said.

Pence said the election, however, is about more than ethics. Specifically, Pence touched on four major points he said are key to the success of the nation- foreign policy, homeland security, prosperity and the future of the Supreme Court. He said the balance of the highest court in the land is perhaps the most important part of the election.

“Men and women, with the passing of the late and great Justice Antonin Scalia, the balance of our Supreme Court is literally on the ballot,” he said.

Many at the rally said they’re convinced the Trump/Pence ticket is best not only for current issues, but for future generations.

“We have a granddaughter. I’m very worried about her future. I want there to be a Christian president, a president who cares about our national security,” said Sanford resident Terrie Rehmert.

Pence ended his speech by urging the crowd to make one final push over the next three weeks by talking about the importance of the election to everyone they know.


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  • Sam Nada Oct 19, 3:56 p.m.
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    Each of his points is nonsense. The Scott Foval tape is by a known GOP dirty trickster who falsely edits videos to make his victims look like they're confessing to things that never actually happened. Apparently it's just words when Trump brags, but it's real when some low level Dem guy does it. They have zero evidence of actual fraud. The Philly claim is rated as a "pants on fire" lie by fact checking sites. No independent research has found any evidence of wide spread voter fraud. The actual rate is vanishingly small. GOP politicians have admitted that voter ID laws were designed and intended to target and suppress minority voting, and the courts have found and ruled that way as well. It's baseless fear mongering because they are unbound by reality and have no shame or morals.

  • Carl Keehn Oct 19, 3:29 p.m.
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    Actually it's all of the County Boards. State law mandates that the local board be comprised of two members from the majority party and one member from the minority party.

  • Raleigh Rose Oct 19, 2:02 p.m.
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    Mr. Gravel I don't have time to look at all your allegations but one that jumps out is the one about Romney not receiving any votes any some precincts in PA. Just wondering if you also question the precincts in other areas like Utah where Obama did not receive any votes at all. Where those also a result of voter fraud?

  • Sam Nada Oct 19, 1:54 p.m.
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    Just more of the incessant strategy of the right to manufacture false fear. Murderers and rapists flooding the country from Mexico so build a wall, transexuals will rape your daughters without a law that forces which bathroom they use, the boogeyman is coming to take all your guns, the country will go to hell if we allow same-sex marriage, voter fraud is rampant so IDs and citizen vigilantes are needed to "monitor" polling stations. It's preposterous nonsense, a fake facade they hide behind to rally the ignorant, all so the GOP can get elected and the rich can avoid taxes. It's the ruthless preying on the stupid, and it's an absolute disgrace.

  • Buster Brown Oct 19, 12:49 p.m.
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    Again- -go back and check your history. The Army unit to which you refer was not part of the discussion--so why bring it in now? The New Black Power party is certainly alive and well--and its members were documented as being present and active in the demonstrations /riots/protests over Trayvon Martin, in Feerguson Mo, Baltimore, et cet. And yes , BPP members were documented as being present in Chicago threatening/ intimidating voters with metal "slap sticks"--and it was Eric Holder who refused to even investigate the incident,

  • Eric Hammond Oct 19, 11:57 a.m.
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    Mr. Hammond--it might serve you well to do some basic research.
    I did, before I posted, & I emphasize the need for ACCURACY - The "Black Panthers" were an Army Infantry Div. (66th) during WWII. It would seem unlikely that the few surviving members would be intimidating in their 80's & 90's.
    The "Black Panther Party" ceased to exist in the '70's. The "New Black Panther Party" is a different entity. The presence of a whopping 2 members at a majority black district is hardly cause for alarm - in fact they were there to guard against potential voter intimidation not the opposite! It's not as if they were at a majority white district - that could have been interpreted as intimidation. Never mind the fact that "after months of hearings, testimony and investigation no one has produced actual evidence..."

    Read that? "months of hearings, testimony & investigation". So your claim that " was Eric Holder who failed/refused to investigate" is a bald faced falsehood!

  • Crystal Czeck Oct 19, 10:19 a.m.
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    Clinton whined about the same thing when Obama won ... but you know, that's okay because it's Hillary Clinton and she can get away with any and everything - as evidence by destroyed evidence and a long, long list of many other things that she has done.

    Poor Bernie never stood a chance with her voter fraud. Trump will not either, if Wikileaks doesn't drop something hardcore soon to take her out of the race completely. Otherwise, it's set up for her, by her paid minions.

  • Rk Kel Oct 19, 4:45 a.m.
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    Pence is involved right now in a right extremist effort to remove 45,000 voters from the rolls wholesale in Indiana with a faux investigation pretext. That is fraud. The GOPs dirty tricks "consultant" Nathan Sproul his Strategic Allied Consulting, LLC AKA Lincoln was caught in North Carolina and run out of the state in 2012 as well as investigated for fraud. This time they have gotten even more desperate. Let me assure you Mr. Pence, we will not be intimidated at the polls. I will leave it at that. This is not post-reconstruction or the 1950s.

  • Buster Brown Oct 18, 11:47 p.m.
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    Mr. Hammond--it might serve you well to do some basic research. The BPP does in fact exist--they now style themselves the New Black Panther Party, and they are every bit as violent, racist and confrontational as they ever have been. They have been present in every single riot/protest/ etc. beginning in Florida, Ferguson Mo./, and other major demonstrations. Did they in fact attempt to intimidate voters?? yes, they did--and it was Eric Holder who failed/refused to investigate them and their behavior. So yes, they are alive, they are active and they are intimidating knowing that Obama, Lynch and the DOJ will not bother them..

  • Eric Hammond Oct 18, 11:25 p.m.
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    "4 years ago in PA the Black Panthers were out in force with their intimidation tactics. of course it was never investigated by obamas DOJ" John Ragan

    Perhaps because that claim is complete and total fantasy - most "Black Panthers" are dead, the few survivors are in their nineties and hardly a threat to anyone
    9exept maybe Trump (aka. Benito with bad hair) My uncle was a black panther, proudly so, since the Black Panthers were the 66th Infantry Division which was disbanded after WWII!

    Oh, and the Black Panther Party ceased to exist in the 1980's too... so again the claim is PURE FANTASY, and proof positive that the GOP and its mindless minions are delusional right - wing radicals who deny reality... The SOLE purpose of Trump and Pence calling for their supporters to "watch polling places" is to act as their re-born SturmArbietlung - don't know the term? Look it up!