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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 18, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 47
North Carolina governor: There were voting irregularities. I lost!
Section One
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North Carolina governor: There were voting irregularities. I lost!

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

North Carolina's anti-LGBT governor, Pat McCrory, having lost his bid for re-election, charged that there were 'irregularities' in the vote count, but state election officials replied that there was 'no evidence' of any issues.

McCrory was the architect of draconian legislation repealing local LGBT rights ordinances and barring Trans people from gender-appropriate restrooms. The ensuing boycott of North Carolina by businesses and sports leagues cost the state an estimated $500 million in lost business activity.

McCrory's Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, leads by about 5,000 votes.

McCrory's campaign team questioned the validity of about 90,000 votes from Durham County that were tabulated late on Election Day and swung the election toward Cooper. In addition, McCrory claimed, thousands of other votes were hand-counted rather than being counted mechanically as usual.

There was 'malfeasance' in handling the Durham County votes, McCrory charged. North Carolina elections officials disagreed, however.

Durham County Board of Elections Chairman Bill Brian said on November 15 that officials have seen no evidence supporting McCrory's challenge to the disputed ballots.

'We have seen no evidence to that effect,' Brian told a November 15 press conference. '[McCrory's attorney] may have some, but we have seen no evidence to that effect.'

Thomas Stark, general counsel for the state Republican Party, filed a formal protest November 11 contending that Durham County officials had to manually enter the votes after they were unable to upload data from ballot tabulators, and that this may have compromised the ballots.

Like all county elections boards, the Durham County Board of Elections is made up of two Republicans - including Brian - and a Democrat. The governor appoints members of the State Board of Elections, which appoints members of county elections boards like Durham's.

After an initial hearing on the charges involving Durham County voting, McCrory filed allegations of fraud in another 11 counties on November 16, claiming that all fraud allegations must be investigated before the results of the election are certified.

Cooper campaign spokesman Ford Porter said there's no evidence behind the allegations.

'It is absolutely shameful that Gov. McCrory would make these unfounded claims,' Porter said. 'This is the worst kind of misinformation campaign meant to undermine the results of an election the governor has lost.'

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