NC-09: SPLAT! (What just hit the fan?)


The Ninth Congressional District race is being redone today as the result of a state investigation.  Now, it looks like state elections authorities might have screwed up the second round:


The North Carolina State Board of Elections is investigating after absentee ballot envelopes with incorrect language were mailed to some voters in the 9th Congressional District.


The admission comes after questions from Channel 9 about the language on the absentee ballot envelopes.


A spokesperson for NCSBE confirms some envelopes contained language that did not make it clear only voters who are disabled can have their ballots picked up.


According to an email sent to county board of elections directors,  due to an “administrative error,” some counties used absentee voter assistance stickers on envelopes that contained incomplete language. […] 


That’s because the state board sent out instructions telling county staffs to put the stickers with contradictory, possibly unlawful language on the absentee ballot envelopes.  See our previous stories HERE and HERE.





[…] “The final version of the sticker approved by this agency contained language indicating the limitation that only a voter who “due to a disability” cannot take the ballot to the nearest mailbox or depository may receive assistance in doing so,” Deputy Counsel Katelyn Love wrote.


NCSBE reports fewer than 10 voters returned an absentee envelope with incomplete language and indicated they received assistance. NCSBE says it has no evidence that the incomplete language led to any attempts to engage in fraudulent activity. […]


Fewer than TEN ????  I find that hard to believe since my information came from multiple counties within the Ninth District.   The language on the stickers pretty much allowed the behavior they lynched McCrae Dowless over.  If it was illegal for him, it’s illegal NOW.  Methinks thou hast one hell of a problem here in Round 2.





[…] A spokesperson for NCSBE says the agency has not received any calls to a hotline set up for voters to report absentee ballot issues.


“The 9th Congressional District evidentiary hearing and indictments of several people, we believe, should serve as a very strong deterrent to anyone who might consider committing fraud in this election,” Patrick Gannon, spokesman for NCSBE, said.[…] 

Yeah.  How on Earth could you prosecute / investigate / lynch someone for doing EXACTLY what your office  told them  to do?




[…] In February, NCSBE board members unanimously called for a new election after hearing evidence a campaign worker for Republican Mark Harris paid people to collect absentee ballots.


In North Carolina, absentee ballot collection is illegal but limited exceptions exist for people with disabilities.


“The state board of elections would not advocate just anyone picking up ballots after this investigation, never have, never will,” said Veronica Degraffenreid, election preparation and support manager for NCSBE. “We are trying to figure out what went wrong and how some of the counties received the wrong version of that language.”


Degraffenreid says the language that went out to some voters was a draft and not approved by the legal team.


Degraffenreid says NCSBE was trying to make it clear only people with legitimate disabilities or impairments can request assistance.


“That needs to be clearly indicated on the return envelope,” she said. “That was the intent of that change. What happened with the actual language and where it was placed is something we are looking into.” […] 

If you look back at my stories, you’ll see that Degraffenreid (1) sent out the “erroneous” info for the absentee envelopes, and (2) delayed responding to questions from local elections staff confused by the conflicting information.


The dysfunction at the state board of elections goes FAR beyond Kim Strach.