State elections board dismisses protest in Bladen County

Posted December 3, 2016
Updated December 4, 2016

— The State Board of Elections voted Saturday to dismiss the election protest of Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. of Bladen County, which called into question the validity of hundreds of absentee ballots. Board Member Joshua Malcolm made the motion, saying there was not substantial evidence of violation of elections laws.

The complaint questioned handwritten signatures on absentee ballots submitted in Bladen County. Attorneys representing Dowless and Gov. Pat McCrory's campaign also pointed to suspicions about "assistance" provided as voters completed those ballots.

The state board also unanimously dismissed a protest on appeal from Kenneth Register of Bladen County, citing the same reason.

"So, when I looked at everything in totality, I really could not find a way for this board, at least in my vote, for this board to throw out ballots, especially the entire ballot from qualified, unquestioned voters," Malcolm said.

Attorney Roger Knight, who represented Dowless and the McCrory campaign, said he’s not surprised by the outcome.

"You can’t examine the original ballots," Knight said. "You can only see third-hand photocopies, and in a short, compressed amount of time, it’s hard to prove the kind of fraud that you need to establish in order to establish the kind of protest and challenge we were doing."

Malcolm also made a motion for the state board to make available to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina all information the board has regarding the 2016 general election in Bladen County. That motion passed unanimously.

"For him, or perhaps her, in the near future, to make any determination whether there was any criminal misconduct," Malcolm said.


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  • Mike Voiland Dec 4, 2016
    user avatar

    Good. Glad to see that county boards, even under Republican-appointed majorities and chairpeople, have the guts and integrity to "call 'em as they see 'em" And in this case, they saw no evidence or reason to throw out absentee. When will partisan GOP interests stop claiming voter fraud when the facts show it doesn't exist? My guess is they'll only stop when all ballots cast by poorer and minority-group voters are dismissed.

  • Steve Smith Dec 4, 2016
    user avatar

    Bladen county is very corrupt, there are numerous ongoing FBI investigations into that county because of the actions of the AA LE. They proved the cooking of ballots when a hand writing expert proved that one person signed numerous ballets. I do find it hysterical that a Democrat poster on here is invoking the name of God. I suspect they will be the on explaining themselves to God. Sodomy okay! Killing police officers ok! Backing an enabler of sexual predation, okay! Further, if Cooper does become governor he will be irrelevant as the state legislators have a majority to overcome any veto. God always wins:)

  • Sheryl Caps Dec 4, 2016
    user avatar

    Well Governor McCrory, this didn't work for you either. Blaming African American Organizations that were assistant people. Shame on you. GOD is seeing all you do. Ask for forgiveness now. Your judgement day will come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!