Former mayor sent letter to election head requesting ballot not count

Former mayor sent letter to election head requesting ballot not count

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The former mayor of Charlotte sent a letter to the board of elections requesting his ballot in the November election not be counted after controversy around his vote made headlines.

WBTV obtained the letter sent to the head of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Thursday, one day before the board was sent to rule on the challenged vote.

The 47-year-old Democrat was sentenced in mid-October to 44 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to a corruption charge. The head of the U.S. Probation Office in Charlotte says Cannon essentially became a felon in June when he pleaded guilt and lost his right to vote.

But election records show Cannon cast a one-stop early voting ballot on Oct. 30 at Community House Middle School for the 2014 election.

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

"I stand in support and agreement of the challenge of my vote and would respectfully ask that my ballot not be counted," Cannon's letter to director Michael Dickerson said.

Cannon says that people who have been incarcerated may have a better idea of how to restore their rights than those who are going through the pre-trial process.

"The idea should be that no-one should ever try to take advantage of the process knowing that what they are doing is a wrongful act," Cannon wrote. "It's my belief that based on my case, the court has made rulings that will close the gaps of instances like the one which occurred recently and I fully support Judge [Frank] Whitney's actions to lessen systematic issues."

Cannon was back before Judge Whitney last week after the controversial vote, which violated the terms of his probation.

During the meeting, Whitney started talking about the law and how it's illegal for felons to vote. He went on to say that courts need to be more clear with defendants regarding their loss of voting rights.

Whitney ordered Cannon to house arrest with an electronic monitor until Nov. 18 when he will report to FCI Morgantown to serve out his sentence.

Friday, the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections announced Cannon's vote had been disqualified.

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