Board disqualifies November ballot of former Charlotte mayor

Board disqualifies November ballot of former Charlotte mayor

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The November ballot of former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon has just been disqualified by the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

Cannon was arrested last March, more than four months after he was elected to his first term as mayor. In mid-October, the 47-year-old Democrat was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison and according to the head of the U.S. Probation Office in Charlotte, lost his right to vote as early as June 3, when he pleaded guilty to a corruption charge.

But election records show Cannon, who was recently sentenced to prison for taking bribes, cast a one-stop early voting ballot in the 2014 election. The online records show the former mayor voted on Oct. 30 at Community House Middle School.

That vote was officially challenged on election night after it was discovered.

Voting as a convicted felon violated the terms of his probation and Cannon was forced to face a federal judge last week.

U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney ordered Cannon to house arrest with an electronic monitor until Nov. 18. Following house arrest, Cannon will report to prison at FCI Morgantown, a minimal security federal correctional institution in West Virginia.

Inside the courtroom Whitney told Cannon, "You did embarrass this community! This is round two. It's not as severe, but it's round two." Cannon apologized repeatedly, saying, "the light simply did not go off."

Prosecutors asked Whitney to put Cannon in custody immediately. The U.S. asked the judge to revoke the bond.

Whitney agreed with the U.S. that Cannon violated the bond and said that consequences would be determined. He said that Cannon is a sophisticated voter and should have known not to vote.

Michael Dickerson, the county's election director, told The Charlotte Observer that he cannot remove the name of a felon convicted in federal court until the U.S. Attorney's Office tells him to.

Lia Bantavani, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, says the USAO provides quarterly notice of federal convictions to the Chief State Election Officials of the State of North Carolina of each person convicted of a federal felony during that quarter.

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