WBTV Investigates

  Voters say date differences on mail ballot ‘innocent mistake’

In new affidavit, Bladen Elections chairman says staff found forged absentee ballot request forms

Bladen Co. absentee ballot turn-in log raises new questions about affidavit filed by McCready campaign

Mecklenburg elections board never reported ballots with mismatching dates

Emergency management claims hurricane recovery work continued despite stop work order

Exclusive: Documents reveal voters targeted by Harris campaign contractor for absentee votes

Continued Coverage

  Senate Republicans question former Elections chairman about contact with Bladen Co. Democrat after WBTV investigation

Contract for Hurricane Florence recovery cancelled due to improper procurement process

Records show NCSBE Chair had frequent contact with figure in NC-09 investigation during ’18 election

Watching Your Wallet: How much could you earn if you invested your coffee money?

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

Candidates, PAC in Bladen County disagree on meaning of contributions

  New accusations of election fraud in NC -09 race released by McCready team.

Sworn statements by voters and political power players in Bladen County accuse McCrae Dowless of collecting and trashing absentee ballots in the 9th Congressional District race.

Elections board: Bladen DA had ‘undisclosed apparent conflict of interest' when he sought investigation info in ’17

Emails released by Bladen County District Attorney Jon David show senior staff in his office aggressively sought information in 2017 about the ongoing investigation into potential election fraud in the county even as staff at the North Carolina State Board of Elections were concerned David had an un

  Bladen GOP chairman previously hired McCrae Dowless but says he wouldn’t now

The chairman of the Bladen County Republican Party issued a press release Thursday afternoon saying he would not have hired McCrae Dowless to coordinate poll workers for the 2018 election had he known of allegations detailed in a new set of released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections on

Newly uncovered document suggests Bladen Improvement PAC president collected absentee ballots

An “incident report” form uncovered by WBTV at the Bladen County elections office suggests the president of the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC picked up absentee ballots during the 2016 election.

  Investigators in election fraud probe working to identify absentee “helpers”

Central figure in NC-09 investigation refuses interview with investigators

NC elections board releases 2016 case file detailing Bladen election fraud investigation

Voters and candidates claim election fraud at Bladenboro townhall

Robeson Co. woman details potential voting irregularities in new affidavit

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

  Exclusive: Mark Harris addresses voter fraud allegations in race for 9th Congressional District

Republican Mark Harris is speaking publicly for the first time since the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted to not certify the results of his race for Congress.

Bladen election officials prepare for possible election

The Bladen County Board of Elections is making preparations and decisions as if a new election in the 9th Congressional District was imminent.

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.

‘I haven’t committed any crimes.’ Woman at center of voter fraud allegations breaks her silence

The woman at the center of allegations of voter fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District race is breaking her silence, speaking only with WBTV about the work she did in the 2018 election.

Republicans propose new board of elections bill

Senior Republicans in the North Carolina legislature are now backing a bill that would keep the North Carolina State Board of Elections intact for the near future.

Democratic Party chair, group’s attorney both deny knowledge of PAC workers collecting absentee ballots

The chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party denied having any knowledge of actions taken by two men paid by a local political action committee in Bladen County at a press conference on Tuesday, despite receiving detailed questions from WBTV roughly a week earlier.

  NCGOP leader says new election warranted based on irregularities with early vote count

The executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party said a new election is warranted in the 9th Congressional District because of questions surrounding the way in which early vote totals were tabulated in Bladen County.

Bladen Co. Board of Elections vice chairman resigns amid absentee ballot probe

The vice chairman of the Bladen County Board of Elections has resigned his position as investigators continue to probe reports of irregularities surrounding absentee ballots in the county.

‘I give it to them and they mailed it off’ Bladen absentee voter recounts casting his ballot

A review of absentee ballot covers for ballots cast in Bladen County in the 2018 general election show two people associated with the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC witnessed more than 100 absentee ballots.

Records point to third coordinated absentee ballot effort in NC District 9

Records released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections this week and campaign finance reports point to a third coordinated effort surrounding absentee ballots in the county’s 2018 elections.

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.

Criminal investigation into voting irregularities started in January, new reports after primary

State criminal investigators have been probing voting irregularities centered in Bladen County for nearly two years, WBTV has learned.

Former Bladen Co. elections chairman says he reported ballot irregularities to state of NC in 2010

Documents obtained by WBTV show elections officials in Bladen County reported irregularities with absentee ballots in the 2010 election, years before similar concerns came to light in 2016 and in recent weeks following the 2018 race.

DMV Commissioner granted exceptions despite staff advice, rulings

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Torre Jessup took action on at least four occasions that reversed the recommendation or decision of staff, hearing officers and, in one case, a Superior Court judge, to the benefit of specific individuals.

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.

Watching Your Wallet: Strengthen your financial fitness before 2019

While many people think about health and wellness resolutions for the new year, financial experts recommend thinking about money goals too.

Questions about previous work emerge for company hired for Hurricane Florence recovery

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has hired a company to administer a portion of the Hurricane Florence recovery effort that a previous state evaluation panel found had a history of previous work that should disqualify it from getting similar jobs in the future.

Doctors removed from supervisory positions at Salisbury VA after WBTV investigation

Two doctors at the center of a sexual harassment complaint uncovered in a WBTV investigation have been removed from their supervisory positions at the Salisbury VA Medical Center.

Part-time Speaker’s Office employee draws $69,000 annual salary with little work to show for it

A part-time employee in the office of House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has drawn a taxpayer-funded check since April but there’s little evidence to show that he’s done any work.

House Speaker Moore has hired criminal defense attorney for state, federal probes

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has hired a high-profile criminal defense attorney as he prepares to handle separate requests from state and federal investigators.

Tillis responds to WBTV investigation of VA harassment complaint

United States Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued a statement following a WBTV investigation into the handling of a sexual harassment complaint made by a female employee at the Salisbury VA Medical Center.

Documents show VA leadership failed to stop sexual harassment at Salisbury VA

A female employee at the Salisbury VA Medical Center reported being sexually harassed last year but the facility’s senior leadership did not take appropriate action to stop the harassment, according to findings of a VA hearing officer.

  Nuclear fallout: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

Thousands of nuclear weapons workers are seeking compensation from a federal program that has ballooned far past initial projections - and some say they're being denied based on incorrect information.

DMV Commissioner uses inflated numbers in presentation on long wait times to lawmakers

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Torre Jessup included data in a presentation to state lawmakers on Thursday that included numbers sharply higher than the numbers in the same data set provided to WBTV by the DMV just a month earlier.

Watching Your Wallet: Company offering to help lower student debt under investigation

A company offering to help people reduce their student loan debt is now under investigation. One St. Louis woman says her debt actually increased after trying to work with the company.

Mice. Mold. Messes.

Hundreds of Americans live in deplorable rental properties and their landlord is the federal government. The properties need $50 billion in repairs. Uncle Sam now is hoping that private investors will save public housing.

Watching Your Wallet: Will Social Security be there when you retire?

Research shows many Americans are concerned with whether Social Security will be available when they retire, but many aren’t saving. NerdWallet experts help explain the realities of Social Security and what you can do.

Former Myers Park HS student sues school district over handling of rape allegations

A former Myers Park High School student who reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow student in the woods behind the school has filed a lawsuit over the way school officials handled the incident.

Hundreds nearly kept off voter roles after registering at DMV

Nearly 400 people who registered to vote or attempted to change their voter registration at the DMV were nearly kept off the poll books due to a technical glitch.

Veteran gets missing VA disability check after calling WBTV for help

A local veteran got his missing VA disability check within days of calling WBTV for help.

Cleveland Co. Sheriff candidate had no-contact order against him

The man challenging Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman for the county’s top law enforcement job has recently been subject to a no-contact order, court records show.

15,000 untested rape kits sit on shelves across the state. What will leaders do to get them processed?

More than 15,000 rape kits—some decades old—are sitting on shelves at law enforcement agencies across the state.

Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

Brad Barrett took $4,000 Disney trip for a family of four for only $150. Seriously.

Board of Elections updates information regarding judge candidate’s campaign compliance

A local candidate for Judge accepted campaign contributions and paid expenses from his campaign account while his campaign was terminated from active status by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, records show.

Top judge says most criminal defendants should be free before trial

A top Mecklenburg County judge is defending the recent practice of the county’s magistrates of letting criminal defendants charged with felony crimes free while awaiting trial by issuing a summons instead of sending them to jail and giving them bond.

Lawmakers give National Guard soldiers reprieve after WBTV investigation

Legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly on Monday included a provision that would prevent soldiers in the North Carolina National Guard from having to repay money they were accidentally overpaid while responding to Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Elections chairman ordered hearing on candidate complaint before investigation complete

The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement has postponed a hearing into a complaint regarding North Carolina Senator Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) following questions from WBTV.

SBI investigating possible campaign finance violations by former lobbyist

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating Mark Bibbs, an attorney and former lobbyist, for potential campaign finance violations.

  People still waiting for help two years after Hurricane Matthew; many hit by Hurricane Florence

The scene was an all-too-recent memory for nearby residents. Main Street was covered by feet of water just two years earlier when flooding from Hurricane Matthew forced water from the Lumber River through the town.

Watching Your Wallet: Budget now for holiday spending

Planning travel and shopping months in advance can pay off in the long run, financial experts say.

Goodwin worked for donor under FBI investigation after leaving Insurance Commissioner post

The FBI is investigating Greg Lindberg, a Durham businessman, for felony crimes related to drug crimes, crimes against financial institutions or money laundering, according to a federal grand jury subpoena issued to the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

NCGOP took nearly $2 million from donor under FBI investigation, gave some to Causey campaign

The North Carolina Republican Party took nearly $2 million from a political donor who is now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

National Guard soldiers forced to re-pay money from Hurricane Matthew

The demand for re-payment is the result of an audit conducted by the North Carolina State Auditor that was released this spring.

Report: Customers are overpaying on a quarter of all prescriptions

A new study shows patients are overpaying on prescriptions sometimes because they are using insurance, rather than paying the cash price.

Big Pharma was supposed to self-police fentanyl prescriptions. It failed. Patients died.

Internal documents show lax enforcement, missed opportunities by the federal government.

You can help uncover political ad targeting on Facebook

Use the Facebook Political Ad Collector to help categorize ads and understand why they are targeting you.

Bishop of Charlotte to address ‘abuse scandal’ following WBTV investigation

The announcement comes one day after a WBTV investigation that exposed new information showing leaders of the Charlotte Diocese, among others, knew of allegations of sexual abuse against two priests decades before either man was removed from ministry.

Catholic leaders in Charlotte, Raleigh allowed priests to continue ministry despite abuse reports

For months, WBTV has been gathering internal church documents, some dating back to the 1980s, related to two priests removed from their positions as pastors at churches in the Charlotte Diocese following reports of abuse.

Former Ashe Co. Sheriff’s employees break silence after firing, arrest by former sheriff

A former employee at the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office is breaking her silence, more than a year after being fired from her job at the county jail and arrested on 12 felony charges.

Feds demand all voting records in 44 NC counties

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina has issued a subpoena demanding all voting records in 44 counties in North Carolina.

Internal DMV reports conflict with commissioner’s explanation for long wait times

Internal DMV reports obtained by WBTV suggest explanations offered for long wait times at driver's license offices across the state are inaccurate.

Internal DMV report claims customers only waiting 50 minutes at license offices

The report, obtained by WBTV, included a number of metrics for various agencies within the DMV for the month of July.

Prosecutors: Sheriff tried to kick SBI agents out, withhold evidence during search warrant

SBI agents executed a search warrant on the sheriff's office as part of an investigation into allegations that the Sheriff's son, Jason Reid, had used a GPS tracking device that belongs to the office to stalk an ex-girlfriend.?

Who used special DMV office? Attorney General blocking access to records

DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup told employees Wednesday the secret driver's license facility would no longer be used after WBTV exposed the office on Tuesday.

NC Medicaid guidelines limit what drugs doctors can use to fight opioid addiction

The board that NCDHHS established to determine which drugs are included on the Medicaid formulary is scheduled to meet again in September to consider changes, if any, to the formulary for opioid medications.

NCDMV discontinues secret driver’s license office at HQ

The announcement comes a day after a WBTV investigation uncovered a secret driver's license office available only to certain state employees.

Lawmaker presses for answers after WBTV investigation into secret DMV office

WBTV investigative reporter Nick Ochsner uncovered a secret driver's license office available only to certain state employees.

NCDMV operated secret driver's license office as residents waited in long lines

Unless you know about the office and the quick, convenient service it provides, it's nearly impossible to determine a driver's license office even exists at the agency's headquarters.