Anomalies and Protests: Still Many Unanswered Questions in NC-Gov Race

While Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton are gumming up the works, calling for recounts that will go nowhere, liberals across the country are calling North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory a “sore loser” for his refusal to sit down and shut up over a skin tight race, with actual voter integrity concerns.

You can always tell where you should be focusing attention by looking at what Democrats want to go away.

The race for the governorship of North Carolina could be winding down, however, but just how it looks when it all shakes out could continue to be murky for years to come.

Liberal judges with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state’s voter ID laws only weeks before the general election.

Almost immediately following the election, where Republicans swept most every office, except the governorship, protests began to flood county election boards.

In all, over 50 complaints of irregularities or fraud were filed, ranging from absentee ballot mills, where the same hand was proven to have filled out hundreds of ballots, to questions of residency and same-day voter registration complications.

In almost every case, however, the protests were tossed out, mainly due to the fact that they’d been lodged after the election.

Still, some remain.

The NC Civitas Institute filed a lawsuit alleging impropriety with the same-day voters, whose votes were allowed to stand, even though there was no time allowed to put those voters through the required verification process (30 days).

On Thursday, the North Carolina Board of Election finalized the orders to have the Durham Board of Elections do a partial recount. The count must be done by December 4, 2016 at 7pm.

The 94,000 ballots at question emerged within the last half hour of election night, turning a McCrory lead to a razor thin victory for his Democrat challenger, Roy Cooper.

Since that time, provisional ballots from those counties who have turned in their count have extended that lead to over the required 10,000 mark to prevent a recount, but the order for those Durham ballots remains, as the state deals with the pending lawsuits and remaining protests.

There are other irregularities that seem to defy logic, given the direction of the voting. Take for instance, New Hanover County.

Donald Trump took the county 49.4% to 45.5% over Hillary Clinton.

That pattern continued down party lines, with Senator Richard Burr garnering 51% to challenger Deborah Ross’ 44.4%, and Lt. Governor Dan Forest winning 52% to 44%.

For governor, however, the numbers seem oddly “flipped,” with Democrat challenger, Roy Cooper taking 51% to Governor McCrory’s 46%.

You can examine the data here.

I’m not an expert on these things, admittedly. I’m horrible with numbers and I am not the person you want doing your taxes.

I did spend time looking over New Hanover’s results, because it just seemed far too odd.

What I found was out of 43 precincts within the county, McCrory won 23 of them. He got a total of 35,028 votes from those 23 precincts, to Cooper’s 26,746 votes.

Breaking things down further, McCrory led with election day votes by a slight margin.

It seems that those same-day or provisional ballots may have tipped the scales Cooper’s way.

I talked with Marilyn Marks, an election integrity advocate who made her name fighting for free and fair elections in Colorado, but who now resides in North Carolina. She has been following the governor’s race in the state and has made some interesting observations.

Said Ms. Marks:

“New Hanover’s votes were counted on voting machines banned in North Carolina after 2017, –and for good reason.  It’s impossible to say what caused this apparent anomaly in the Governor’s race results without examining the ballots and the voter-viewed tapes generated by the touchscreen machines. However, machines are occasionally erroneously programmed reversing the candidates’ results. Such a programming error was discovered in the last few days in Stanton County, Nebraska .  There is at least a possibility that such an error accounts for the unexpectedly higher vote totals for Cooper in this heavily Republican County. On the other hand, an individualized local political reason may be behind the unexpected results. No one will know unless more rigorous work is done to review the source documents—the ballots and tapes that voters themselves marked and viewed. North Carolina’s anti-transparency election laws make it difficult for citizens or campaigns to review the documents and verify the result. The best shot at election verification in North Carolina is through the heavy lifting of a recount. Regardless of the outcome of this election, North Carolina’s laws must be modernized to permit the sunshine needed to investigate anomalies of this type without resorting to statewide recounts.”

She brings up another point.

Governor McCrory cut incentives to the movie industry in the Wilmington, NC area early in his term, angering the would-be superstars who thought their big break into show biz would come from working as extras on the set of “Dawson’s Creek” or something.

Whether a good move or not, it’s questionable if it would cause enough of the Wilmington citizens to exact revenge by voting for a Democrat to take over the governorship, after all the overall good McCrory has done for the state.

Also, New Hanover is the target of one of the numerous protests filed, alleged to be part of the absentee ballot mill that was discovered out of Bladen County.

The county Board of Elections had initially rejected the protests, eager to move forward with the process. They may have acted in haste.

On Thursday, they rescinded that original order.

Thursday morning, and against the advice of elections staff and a county attorney and in apparent violation of state elections law, the board decided 2-1 to immediately certify results of the 2016 election for county races after dismissing election protests filed by John Christian Anderson.

Five hours later, after a conference call with attorneys from the N.C. State Board of Elections, the board held an emergency meeting to nullify its own decision in another 2-1 vote — with Chairman Jonathan Washburn dissenting.

Is your head spinning?

I’ve followed this closely since the night of the election, and it only becomes more infuriating, as county election boards – all with Republican majorities, no less – seem more intent on just rushing through the process than carefully considering the very real concerns of those who are seeking the truth to this very bizarre turn of events in our governor’s race.