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The Daily Tar Heel

Challenges to Roy Cooper's gubernatorial win continue

“It looks like we’ll have a Democrat in the governor’s mansion,” said N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Durham. “But the margin is slim and there are some serious allegations being made by the McCrory Administration regarding the legitimacy of the election.”

Among other issues, Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign has said absentee ballot fraud, double voting, voting by felons and ballots cast under the names of deceased individuals were present during the election. The campaign has formally requested the State Board of Elections take jurisdiction over the varying complaints to individual county boards in order to prevent inconsistencies and more efficiently process reports.

“The McCrory campaign has been very general,” said J. Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science at Catawba College. “They have been without a lot of firm evidence. There was one machine in Durham County which malfunctioned and a few issues with absentee ballots in Bladen County; that’s about it. But when the vote margin is only 7,000, both sides are likely to make accusations of wrongdoing if they think it’s going to help them.”

The State Board of Elections voted Sunday to take jurisdiction over investigations into absentee voting irregularities in Bladen County, but not total jurisdiction over every complaint lodged. The board opted instead to provide a set of standardized guidelines to the counties that can be used to assess county-level reports.

“I think it’s great that they’re trying to deal with this in a fair and straightforward way, but I doubt it will have much of an impact on the outcome,” Bitzer said.

He pointed to Durham County as an example.

“It’s highly Democratic, so even if some of these ballots are recounted or thrown out, it’s unlikely to make a difference,” he said.

U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., said critics of the McCrory campaign say the allegations of wrongdoing are an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s win.

“Governor McCrory’s attempts to cast doubt on the integrity of the election in the wake of his evident defeat are extremely troubling,” Price said in a joint statement with Congressmembers G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. and Alma Adams, D-N.C. “He baselessly accused the Republican-controlled Durham County Board of Elections of ‘malfeasance.’ His desperate attempts to undermine the democratic process and disenfranchise voters are a disservice to the people of North Carolina and should not be tolerated.”

At the time of writing, Roy Cooper’s electoral lead over Pat McCrory stands at 6,470 votes, according to the State Board of Elections.

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