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North Carolina Election Worker Indicted for Changing 2016 Vote Totals
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Photo courtesy of the New York Post.

Summary: A North Carolina election worker was indicted for mishandling ballot results. 

A former elections worker in North Carolina was indicted on Monday for mishandling ballot results, Fox News reported.

  
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Richard Robert Rawling, 59, was indicted by a Durham County grand jury for obstruction of justice, a felony, and failure to discharge a duty of his office, a misdemeanor. Prosecutors said that he had mishandled provisional ballot results during the 2016 primary election in March.

Rawling’s indictment came after an investigation that determined he had personally run or ordered subordinates to run provisional ballots through tabulators more than once to obtain results that he had wanted. Rawling had also allegedly made manual changes to the ballot count so that the provisional canvass numbers would match the approved provisional ballots.

The investigation determined that Rawling was not trying to have one candidate win over the other, but instead, he wanted the numbers a certain way to avoid having to report a discrepancy between the number of provisional ballots in possession of the Board of Elections and the number counted on canvass day.

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“Investigators … found that irregularities resulting from Rawling’s actions were not sufficient in number to affect any contest outcomes,” officials said.

The scheme was discovered in April 2016 after a routine audit. The election officials notified State Board investigators who promptly started their own investigation. In October of 2016, investigators produced a full county report to the local district attorney for a possible prosecution of Rawling.



Fox News stated that provisional ballots are different from regular ballots. “Unlike regular ballots, provisional ballots aren’t counted at a polling place on Election Day. Provisional ballots are issued when there is a question about a voter’s eligibility. They are collected at polling places and then taken to county elections boards to determine if they should be counted.”

Rawling resigned from the Durham County Board of Elections in March of 2016. He had worked for the March 15 primary.

“The State Board’s top priority is ensuring the integrity of elections so voters have confidence in the process,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. “We will continue to hold accountable elections workers and voters who violate election laws.”

According to ABC News, “Derek Bowens, the former elections director in New Hanover County, took over as Durham County’s elections director in June 2017. This incident occurred under a former director.”

What do you think of Richard Rawling’s actions? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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