Associated Press

Latest Voter ID Bill Tries to Address Absentee Ballots

A voter photo identification bill won state House approval Wednesday, a proposal now also altered to try to improve absentee ballot security in North Carolina in light of fraud allegations in a congressional district. The House version of legislation detailing how a new constitutional amendment mandating photo ID to vote in person is carried out starting in mid-2019 also directs the state elections board next year to figure out how people requesting mail-in absentee ballots also must offer ID. The measure now returns to the Senate, which approved an earlier version last week that didn’t address the mail-in requests....

Read More

North Carolina Governor Wins Again in Balance-of-Power Case

A North Carolina court has struck down more legislation Republicans approved for their lame-duck governor’s signature to erode the powers of an incoming Democrat. A Wake County judge ruled that the General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, not Roy Cooper, to pick the leadership of the Industrial Commission, which rules in workers’ compensation cases. The lawmakers also let McCrory’s appointment to a commission vacancy be extended until 2025. McCrory appointed his chief of staff’s wife, Yolanda Stith, and named her vice chairman. The judge’s Monday ruling ends her appointment next year instead. Cooper’s office named a...

Read More

Man Says He Will Prove He Didn’t Kill Michael Jordan’s Dad

For more than 25 years, the man identified as the triggerman in the death of Michael Jordan’s father has repeatedly declared his innocence in the murder. Now he’s going before a judge to lay out evidence he says proves that although he helped dispose of the body, he didn’t kill James Jordan in the early-morning darkness one July day in 1993. “I had nothing to do with this man losing his life, period. I wasn’t connected to the murder. I came in after he was already dead. … The way I look at it is: I denied his family...

Read More

North Carolina GOP Proposes Another Retooled Elections Board

Republicans in the North Carolina legislature have offered another alternative to resolve a longstanding legal battle with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over the state elections board. A House bill filed late Monday would separate duties of the elections panel between a five-member board administering state elections and an eight-member board handling lobbying, ethics and campaign finance matters. The governor’s party likely would hold three of the five positions on the proposed elections board. No party could hold more than half the seats on the lobbying, ethics and campaign finance board. Judges in October struck down the latest version of a nine-member...

Read More

Elections Leader Named to Probe North Carolina Congress Race

North Carolina’s governor has named a new state elections board chairman tasked with leading alleged fraud and irregularities involving absentee ballots in a very close congressional race. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters Monday that he would elevate Vice Chairman Joshua Malcolm to the top position. The previous chairman, Andy Penry, abruptly resigned over the weekend, shortly after Republicans accused Penry of violating board member rules because of overtly partisan comments he made online in recent months. The board voted last Friday to hold an evidentiary hearing this month about absentee ballots in the 9th Congressional District. Unofficial results...

Read More

North Carolina Elections Chairman Resigns Amid Controversy

The chairman of North Carolina’s elections board has resigned following complaints about comments he’s made online criticizing President Donald Trump. Andy Penry resigned Saturday from the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. The Democrat said he was leaving the board because he did not want to undermine an ongoing probe of potential wrongdoing in the state’s 9th Congressional District. The board is investigating alleged fraudulent activity related to mail-in absentee ballots and could order a new election. Wake County GOP Chairman Charles Hellwig filed a complaint Wednesday and provided images of what appear to be tweets from Penry’s...

Read More

Elections Board Wants Hearing Affecting Close Congress Race

North Carolina election officials want to hold a public hearing into alleged absentee ballot irregularities that could affect a very close congressional district race. The state elections board voted 7-2 on Friday to hear evidence by Dec. 21 before deciding whether to finalize the result in the 9th Congressional District. The board could ultimately decide to hold a new election. Totals show Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 900 votes. The new session of Congress begins Jan. 3. Some absentee ballot documents being scrutinized are in Bladen County, partially located in the 9th District. The board’s public...

Read More

Immigrant Deported After Seeking Refuge in N Carolina Church

A Mexican immigrant who sought refuge in a North Carolina church for nearly a year was deported Thursday, federal authorities said. Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was removed from the U.S. and taken to Mexico at 8:45 p.m., said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox. Oliver-Bruno was arrested Nov. 23 at an immigration office near Raleigh after he left the church to have his fingerprints taken as part of an application to stay in the U.S. to financially support his son and ailing wife. His application to stay in the U.S. was denied earlier this week. He had been...

Read More

Voter ID Details Clear North Carolina Senate, Heads to House

Photo identification requirements to vote in person in North Carolina have cleared one legislative chamber. The Senate gave its final approval Thursday to the measure detailing qualifying IDs and exceptions. The measure received initial Senate approval Wednesday and now goes to the House, where it’s likely to be debated next week in the ongoing lame-duck session. The legislature is acting weeks after a constitutional amendment mandating photo voter ID got approved in a statewide referendum. The Senate legislation carries out that amendment. Two ID bills passed earlier this decade by Republicans were blocked, one by a veto and another...

Read More

Possible Absentee ‘Irregularities’ Examined in Congress Race

The North Carolina elections board is investigating potential absentee ballot “irregularities” in the 9th Congressional District — a probe that apparently led board members to delay finalizing the district’s election results. Elections board spokesman Patrick Gannon confirmed probe details Wednesday, the day after the board voted to push back a decision on the 9th District until at least Friday. Gannon separately said a board investigator took absentee ballot request forms and ballot envelopes from Bladen County, partially in the district. Bladen elections board Chairman Bobby Ludlum said the investigator took “several” mail-in ballot envelopes right after Election Day. Republican...

Read More