N.C. elections board investigating after flurry of complaints in Anson County

Updated: Oct. 31, 2020 at 1:42 PM EDT
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WADESBORO, N.C. (WBTV) – The North Carolina State Board of Elections is investigating more than a dozen complaints filed in Anson County, challenging practices by supporters of one campaign to offer voters assistance as they walk into the early voting poll.

The NCSBE sent a press release out Saturday in response to the complaints reiterating the proper procedure for requesting and providing assistance to voters, which the law allows under certain conditions.

According to the press release, any voter may request assistance from a near relative. A voter with a disability that would otherwise prevent them from voting may request assistance from any person, except the voter’s employer or someone from the voter’s union.

The complaints in Anson County center on supporters of the Democratic candidate for register of deeds—including the candidate’s husband—who are alleged to have approached voters walking up to the early voting site and offering to help them vote.

Many of the complaints were filed by the opposing candidate for register of deeds or a Republican poll observer.

The all outline a pattern in which a voter would approach the voting location, someone from the Democrat’s campaign would ask them if they needed help to vote and the candidate’s husband would go in with them to vote.

“In many cases, a voter in need of assistance will be accompanied into the voting place by an assistant. Alternatively, the voter may—but is not required to—request the assistance of an election official,” the NCSBE release sent Saturday said.

“Assistants are prohibited from persuading or inducing any voter to cast a vote in any particular way or to vote for any particular candidate. They are also prohibited from communicating to others about how the voter voted.”

One complaint, filed by a voter, said he was made to vote for the Democratic candidate.

“As soon as I pulled up and exited my vehicle a campaign worker came up to me and forced me to vote for Dannie Montgomery and told me not to vote Greg Eudy. As a first time voter I felt it wasn’t fair to me,” the voter said in the complaint.

The activity has prompted complaints from Congressman Dan Bishop (R-09) and the North Carolina Republican Party.

Late Friday afternoon, a NCSBE spokesman said the board had an investigator in Anson County to gather information and that the press release was intended to remind people about assistance to voters.

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