North Carolina elections board chairman resigns, says he doesn’t want his partisan views to hurt election fraud investigation
By Amy Gardner December 1
TAR HEEL, N.C. —
The Democratic chairman of the state elections board in North Carolina
resigned Saturday, saying he did not want his partisan views to
undermine a widening investigation into alleged election fraud in the
9th Congressional District race.
chairman of the nine-member State Board of Elections and Ethics
Enforcement, said in a statement to the board obtained by The Washington
Post that he was stepping away to allow the investigation to continue
“free of attempts at distraction and obstruction so that the truth can
Penry has fielded criticism from North Carolina Republican officials, who have pointed to his Twitter posts — which include a number of tweets highly critical of President Trump — as evidence that the board’s investigation is partisan and baseless.
“The investigation of criminal conduct and absentee
voting fraud in the 2018 Republican primary and 2018 general election in
congressional District 9 is a matter of vital importance to our
democracy,” Penry wrote in the statement. “I will not allow myself to be
used as an instrument of distraction in this investigation.”
decision came after the nine-member elections board — which includes
four Democrats, four Republicans and one unaffiliated voter — agreed
unanimously Tuesday to delay certification of the results in the 9th
District election amid allegations of an effort to fill in or discard
the absentee ballots of Democratic voters.
Republican Mark Harris, who beat incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger in the primary, leads Democrat Dan McCready in the race by only 905 votes, according to unofficial returns.
On Friday, the state board voted 7 to 2 to
continue investigating the fraud allegations, leaving open the
possibility that a new election could be called. The Associated Press
announced it was revoking its projection that Harris won the seat in
southeastern North Carolina.
[N.C. election officials plan hearing over fraud concerns in U.S. House race, raising possibility of new election]
The inquiry further roiled a state already divided over issues of voting rights, voter suppression and fraud.
a statement Friday, Harris accused the election board of a lack of
transparency and called for the results to be immediately certified.
“Make no mistake, I support any efforts to investigate allegations of irregularities and/or voter fraud, as long as it is fair and focuses on all political parties,” Harris said. “But to date, there is absolutely no public evidence that there are enough ballots in question to affect the outcome of this race. Accordingly, the Board should act immediately to certify the race while continuing to conduct their investigation. Anything else is a disservice to the people of the Ninth District.”
Read the Full Article in The Washington Post