@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Bladen elections director leaves job

Posted December 3, 2018 1:56 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2018 2:06 p.m. EST

Bladen County Board of Elections

— Bladen County Elections Director Cynthia Shaw has left her post, opting to take leave a month before her retirement and in the middle of a state investigation into voting irregularities in her county.

That investigation is holding up results in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District race.

Bladen County Board of Elections Chairman Bobby Ludlum said Shaw did not resign but simply took a month's vacation and sick leave ahead of her planned end-of-the-year retirement. Her last day was Thursday, Ludlum said.

The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement is looking at absentee ballots in the county. Over the weekend, board Chairman Andy Penry resigned over a separate complaint, which pointed out a number of partisan tweets the chairman had sent out over social media.

Board members aren't supposed to take positions on candidates or ballot initiatives, and Penry said he resigned so the issue won't cloud the 9th District investigation.

It's unclear whether Shaw leaving her job will affect the state's investigation. A board spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the move apparently took state board members and staff by surprise.

Ludlum said it shouldn't have any effect.

"It's all in the hands of the state board," he said of the investigation.

Ludlum said Shaw's deputy will fill in for now, and the local board will appoint an interim director after Shaw's official retirement.

He declined to provide a personal phone number for Shaw.