Elections

  Another deputy seeking back pay from Columbus Co., says acting sheriff didn’t have authority to fire him

“It is Mr. Campbell’s position that, due to the N.C. State Board of Elections position that Mr. Green’s [sic] election was never certified, Mr. Green was without legal or actual authority to either demote or terminate Mr. Campbell.”

  Absentee voting opens in North Carolina’s 9th district

  Acting sheriff fired deputies despite uncertain election results

  Columbus County BOE sets hearing in disputed sheriff’s race

  State board sends sheriff’s election protest back to Columbus County, requires officials to take up residency issue

  NCSBE wants ‘fresh start’ in Bladen County, declines to appoint former county elections board members

NCSBE hearing on Columbus Co. sheriff’s race rescheduled as board considers sending matter back to county

Continued Coverage

  Protecting your voice: Restoring voter confidence in the wake of election fraud

  NC9 Special Election: Final list of candidates determined

  Search warrants indicate SBI tailed Dowless during 2018 election

  McCrae Dowless received absentee ballot data from Columbus County

  Wilmington’s municipal elections to cost 20 percent more this year

  New 9th district election, Bladen County re-dos scheduled

  Town commissioner at odds with Bladen sheriff, connected to 9th district figure, voluntarily closes electronic gaming business to avoid raid

The criminal and civil matters have stretched on for years, and the disagreement between a Dublin town commissioner and the Bladen County Sheriff came up during the state's election fraud investigation. But now, at least one chapter is closed.

  NCSBE hearing into Columbus County sheriff’s race postponed; attorneys allowed to gather more evidence

The new date for the hearing is March 18.

  State elections board to schedule new NC9 election, discuss Columbus County Sheriff protest

The roughly 788,000 people of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district will soon have a date to mark on their calendars for the special election for the seat.

Sen. Britt will not seek GOP nomination in new 9th Congressional District election

Sen. Danny Earl Britt (R-Columbus, Robeson) says he will not seek the GOP nomination in the upcoming Ninth Congressional District election ordered by the NC Board of Elections.

NC9 fallout: Candidates look ahead to running in local races, again

N Carolina colleges won’t confirm student IDs OK for voting

State will monitor new elections in Bladen County

State records contradict sheriff’s candidate’s address history

  Democrat announces another run after new House election called in NC

Judge strikes down NC voter ID law OK’d by voters

  NC9 hearing day 4: State board unanimously votes to hold new election

The state board voted 5-0 to hold a new election for the 9th Congressional district seat, Bladen County Commission District 3, and Bladen County’s Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor. The board did not set a schedule for when the election would happen.

  Day 3 of NC9 hearing: Son of Mark Harris says he found McCrae Dowless suspicious; Red Dome leader continues testimony

The North Carolina State Board of Elections’ hearing drags on with no end in sight as new information emerges about exactly who was suspicious of the absentee ballot activity in Bladen County, and when they became aware.

  NC9 hearing day 2: Witness indicates early vote totals leaked, Red Dome leader testifies

Day two of the North Carolina State Elections Board hearing into possible election fraud in District 9.

  NC9 hearing: McCrae Dowless, man at the center of the investigation into election fraud, refuses to testify as state presents evidence

An evidentiary hearing is underway at the North Carolina State Bar as the state board of elections weeds through the results of its election fraud investigation.

  With hearing set to begin, a look back at the election fraud investigation

The North Carolina State Board of Elections will take up the query into alleged fraud in the state’s 9th district and beyond on Monday, Feb. 18, but the road to the Raleigh hearing has been long and winding.

  Final documents set stage for election fraud hearing

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, parties on both sides of the aisle submitted their final argument briefs for consideration, as well as a list of witnesses attorneys intend to call.

  State concerned over Columbus County board’s dismissal of election protest on technicality

Email from State Board of Elections attorney Joshua Lawson to Columbus County attorney Amanda Prince raises questions about the Columbus County Board of Elections' handling of a protest filed in the sheriff’s race.

  Harris team asks for subpoenas for Dowless, other key players in 9th district investigation

The legal team for Republican Mark Harris wants several key players in the investigation into alleged election fraud in Bladen County and beyond to appear in person at the hearing scheduled for Feb. 18.

  While working, claiming residence in Columbus County, acting sheriff routinely gassed patrol car in Lumberton

Jody Greene was stationed in Columbus County and claimed to live there on property in Cerro Gordo. Oddly, he routinely filled up in neighboring Robeson County, well across the county line and nearly 30 minutes from his alleged residence.

  Citing election fraud hearing, lack of information, NCSBE will not appoint new members to election boards in Bladen, Columbus counties

Two counties in Southeastern North Carolina will remain without a county board of elections for the immediate future.

NCSBE sets hearing for election fraud investigation

More than two months after originally putting the certification of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district race on hold, there is finally a date-certain for learning an outcome.

  Cooper names new state board of elections

A month after a court ruling dissolved the nine-member North Carolina State Board of Elections, the new version of the board finally has its members.

  Greene pays $25K bond to keep sheriff’s seat, for now

Acting Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene has posted a $25,000 bond to keep his seat as sheriff, for now. Wake County Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley ordered Greene to pay that bond as part of an ongoing legal dispute over who is the rightful sheriff of Columbus County.

  Grange named co-chair of state House elections committee

A New Hanover County state representative was given a key leadership role in the North Carolina General Assembly.

  Greene has yet to post required $25K bond in dispute over rightful sheriff

Attorneys for Lewis Hatcher have filed documents requesting detailed financial information, property records, and personnel records for Jody Greene in their attempt to prove Hatcher should still be serving as Columbus County sheriff.

  Judge denies request to certify NC-9 race

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway will consider a petition from Republican Mark Harris for a Writ of Mandamus, a request asking the court to force the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to certify him as the winner of the contest.

Woman’s ballot thought to be missing was actually counted; state cites clerical error

Patrick Gannon, spokesperson for the state agency, said it was a clerical error that led to the belief Herring’s vote was not counted.

McCready campaign, NCSBE call for Harris petition to be dismissed

Wake County Superior Court has not set a date to hear a petition from Republican Mark Harris — but the stage is set for one.

  Hearing scheduled in dispute over rightful sheriff of Columbus County

A judge from another jurisdiction is heading to Columbus County this week to hear arguments that Lewis Hatcher should be reinstated as Sheriff.

  Advocacy groups hold rally over election fraud investigation delay

Voters and leaders of advocacy groups from across North Carolina gathered in Raleigh on Friday to express their frustration with the delays in the election fraud investigation.

  Experts say uncertainty in 9th district could last months

Experts in North Carolina’s political landscape and election law say no matter which path the investigation goes down, the process will likely take months.

  Harris files request for court order demanding he be certified in 9th district

On Nov. 30, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted 7-2 to not certify Harris, who unofficially leads the race for the seat against Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes, as the winner of the contest.

  Harris plans to file legal action seeking certification in NC-9 election

The campaign of Republican Mark Harris said he plans to file a legal challenge on Thursday that will ask a court to order he immediately be certified as the winner of the 9th Congressional District election.

  Election fraud hearing postponed; Cooper will not appoint new board, calls lack of GOP support ‘obstruction’

There will be no new state board of elections — at least for the time being.

Rep. Pittenger reflects on congressional tenure in announcement not to run in possible new primary

In a formal statement a day after a brief announcement, Pittenger said he will not run in any new primary that may result from the election fraud investigation underway in the district.

  McCready campaign moves forward with fraud hearing suggestions despite uncertainty

The campaign wants no fewer than 48 people to be compelled to attend the hearing.

  Tumultuous day leaves more questions than answers in election fraud investigation

With less than 90 minutes to go before the North Carolina State Board of Elections is set to dissolve, both Governor Roy Cooper and Republican Mark Harris released their solutions to the problem.

Future of NCSBE, election fraud investigation in flux as court denies extension, General Assembly overrides veto

Just hours after a vote to override the governor's latest veto, a court ruling further complicated the state's elections board.

  Cooper calls GOP plan to override veto of elections bill ‘astonishing,’ asks citizens to press legislators

With just five days to go before the new North Carolina General Assembly is sworn in, republican legislators are preparing to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of House Bill 1029.

McCready campaign submits affidavits in election fraud investigation

As state investigators continue digging into the irregularities with absentee by mail ballots in Bladen, Robeson and Columbus County, the involved parties are turning over affidavits and other documents.

  Despite word from NCSBE, Columbus County officials say they can’t address sheriff discrepancy

On Election Day, Greene led Hatcher by 34 votes, and after a recount, by 37 votes. However, multiple protests were filed with the county elections office in regard to Greene’s campaign.

  Hatcher says he’s willing to serve Columbus Co. as sheriff if asked to resume duties

Jody Greene was sworn in on Dec. 3, but questions remain if the sheriff should be serving during the protest period.

Hidden in plain sight: A decade of local politics culminates in national election fraud investigation

In a small office space located just a few blocks off US Highway 701, two women held down operations as the phones rang nearly non-stop for a week.

  What to do if you think you are a victim of election fraud

If you think you’re a victim of election fraud, attorneys want you to know what to do.

  Person working for Dowless says in text message: ‘I’m scared...I’ve never been investigated for anything’

The North Carolina State Board of Elections released a lengthy report Wednesday on findings that could influence the investigation into election fraud in Bladen County.

Lawyer for central figure in NC-09 investigation releases statement, denies client broke law

The lawyer for a man who has come to be a central figure in the ongoing scrutiny over potential voting irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District has issued a statement on her client’s behalf.

  At least 21 candidates used Dowless, Red Dome over last decade

These candidates, whose constituencies cover Bladen County, Columbus County, Pender County, Brunswick County and New Hanover County, all listed Dowless, Red Dome, Politico Management Services or Patriots for Progress on their official campaign finance reports.

Bladen County state senator refuses to answer questions about election fraud investigation

WECT wanted to ask Bill Rabon about the election fraud investigation happening in part of the district he represents.

  Evidence indicates Sheriff Jody Greene may not live in Columbus County

Tax records indicate there is no home at the address where newly elected Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene is claiming as his primary address.

  NC election fraud: Concerning number of absentee ballots not returned in Columbus Co.

As evidence mounts of election fraud in Bladen County, WECT has learned this may not be an isolated problem. WECT has just uncovered that things in Columbus County may be even worse.

  McVicker campaign paid man connected to alleged NC ballot harvesting operation

During the 2018 election cycle, the campaign to re-elect James McVicker as Bladen County Sheriff paid four parties for “get out the vote” activities.

  Lawmakers, political parties push harder for new NC-9 election as evidence of fraud grows

Photo surfaces of McCrae Dowless and Mark Harris together at a dinner in March in Bladen County.

  Witnesses say McCrae Dowless had possession of hundreds of absentee ballots

The figure at the center of the investigation into election fraud in Bladen County and Robeson County was seen holding a large number of absentee ballots during the campaign.

  Complaint filed against Bladen County sheriff for electioneering near voters casting ballots

According to state law, candidates are prohibited from campaigning within the “buffer zone,” which is at least 25 feet from the front entrance, but can be up to 50 feet.

Bladen County sheriff’s connection to Red Dome, Dowless predates first term

Campaign finance reports show McVicker's campaign paid Red Dome $8,000 during the 2018 campaign, and Dowless another $8,800.

  Columbus County sheriff paid group under investigation for NC9 election fraud

Greene defeated incumbent Lewis Hatcher by 34 votes, a result that was only certified after a hand recount the county needed the state’s assistance to complete.

NC Senators call for creation of committee to evaluate District 9 voting irregularities

Three Republican Senators from North Carolina are calling on Governor Roy Cooper to create a bipartisan task force to investigate voting irregularities spanning multiple election cycles, including the 2016 gubernatorial election.

  Handwritten notes show efforts to collect absentee ballots in exchange for money in Bladen Co.

The two people who provided the notes to WBTV asked they not be identified to provide documents that could later become evidence in the ongoing investigation by the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

  Swearing in: Columbus Co. has first Republican sheriff

Hundreds gathered at the Columbus County Courthouse Monday morning as Jody Greene was officially sworn in as the county sheriff.

Senate delays vote on NC judge nominee opposed by civil rights groups

The Republican-led Senate has delayed a confirmation vote on a judicial nominee opposed by civil rights groups, highlighting the fragile support for President Donald Trump’s pick to fill the nation’s longest court vacancy.

  Lee congratulates Peterson after vote canvass widens challenger’s lead

Harper Peterson’s lead over incumbent Michael Lee has increased to 241 votes after absentee and provisional ballots were counted Friday.

  New Hanover County Board of Elections approves 1,121 provisional, absentee ballots

More than a week after polls closed on Election Day, votes are still rolling in as boards of elections consider provisional and absentee ballots.

  Ballots still being counted in Columbus Co.; candidate for sheriff files complaint with county Board of Elections

Many of the provisional ballots came from a Tabor City precinct where one ballot style wasn’t delivered on time, extending voting for about two hours on Election Day.

  Democrats win 3 of 4 NHC school board votes

Big changes appear to be in store on the New Hanover county school board. The board has been under a Republican control for years but three Democrats will be taking over the four open seats.

'It is very humbling’: Carson Smith, Jr. beats John Johnson to win N.C. House District 16 race

Carson Smith, Jr. will be the new representative for N.C. House District 16 after winning in the 2018 N.C. General Election.

  'I’m just ready to get to work now’: Alan Cutler projected to be new Pender County Sheriff

Alan Cutler is projected to win Pender County Sheriff in the 2018 N.C. General Election.

  Democrats to take control of the New Hanover Co. Board of Commissioners for the first time since the 1980s

Rob Zapple and Julia Boseman were the top vote getters in the four person race Tuesday night.

Davis emerges from three-candidate field running for NC House District 19

Three candidates ran for North Carolina House District 19, which serves the southern portion of New Hanover County from Kure Beach to the Seagate community.