So far 290 people have voted in Washington County in the new election for sheriff called for by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. One-Stop voting began on Thursday, May 5, 2011. The new Election Day is May 24, 2011.
In the November General Election a total of 4,578 people voted in the sheriff’s race. 2,291 votes were cast for incumbent sheriff, James (Smiley) Ross (Dem), and 2,287 votes went to the challenger, Gregory (Greg) Hassell (Rep). Only four votes separated these two candidates.
On February 24, 2011, the State Board of Elections held a teleconference and “acknowledged that there are sufficient irregularities to taint the results of the election and removes all doubts of the fairness of the election,” ordering a new election.
Here are a few of the irregularities in the Washington County Sheriff’s election of November 2, 2010 found in the teleconference official minutes.
- Three weeks after the election an absentee ballot was found that had not been counted previously;
- Fifteen (15) absentee ballots were mishandled being placed in a lock box left out on a shelf and not counted until after the Washington County Board of Elections had adjourned the meeting on Election Day for the counting of absentee ballots;
- Considerable confusion of seven (7) voters’ eligibility that appeared on voter history list after the election;
- Considerable confusion in the reconciliation of voters voting to ballots cast and some records apparently were not scanned and did not appear on the voter history records.
- Considerable confusion about identified deceased voters and the county board of elections’ voter registration records;
- Questions regarding reported improper assistance to residents at a disability center;
- Provision voter Michelle Armstrong was not on listed on the poll book and fed her provisional ballot into the tabulator at the polling place.
Liberals/Progressives like to argue that there is no voter fraud in North Carolina – especially no voter impersonation fraud. Of course this is a silly argument because it is impossible to prove (or disprove) the presence of voter impersonation fraud without a photo ID requirement.
The 2010 Washington County election for sheriff is a great example of why we need voter photo ID legislation. It is also a good illustration of how the State Board of Elections avoids investigations into apparent voter fraud, thus perpetuating the myth that there is no voter fraud in North Carolina.