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

Updated: Dec. 19, 2018 at 6:32 PM EST
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BLADENBORO, NC (WBTV) - A Bladen County voter tells WBTV she was visited by two investigators asking her to identify the people who helped her fill out an absentee ballot application.

Saundra Hines says she was visited by two women sometime in October who offered to give her the form required to receive an absentee ballot.

WBTV pulled the records and found the Bladen County Board of Elections received two absentee ballot applications from Hines. When WBTV Investigates' David Hodges showed Hines the applications she said the handwriting on one of the forms was not hers and while the signature was close to her style she said it was slightly off.

“I write my name a little better than that,” Hines said.

Hines told WBTV that since the election she has been visited by investigators twice. On the second visit she says they showed her a lineup of seven different women and asked her to point out any of them who helped her sign the application.

“They said can I show you some pictures, I said sure and they ask me did I recognize anybody,” Hines said

“Then when they showed me a couple of brunettes I said' I could tell you right now that neither one of them were brunette they were both blonde.' So I basically looked at the blondes but I really couldn’t tell them.”

WBTV’s Nick Ochsner interviewed one woman who claims to have helped Leslie McCrae Dowless collect absentee ballot applications.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections did not respond to questions regarding Hines and the investigators that visited her.

Hines also questions what happened to her ballot. She says she mailed it from her apartment complex but records show her vote was never counted.

However officials at the Bladen County Elections office pulled records that confirm Hines' ballot was received but that it was missing her signature. The Bladen County Board of Elections voted to reissue her ballot but never received it back.

Hines disagrees and says she did sign her ballot.

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