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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – The Bladen ballot battle continues. May’s primary in Bladen County has already been investigated for claims County Commissioner Delilah Blanks cast multiple votes. She was cleared of any wrongdoing, but the county elections are under investigation again. The North Carolina Board of Elections is now investigating several claims of voter fraud stemming from the May primary and the run-off in the sheriff’s race.

Residents say Bladen County is a dirty place to be in the middle of an election. Rumors of voter fraud, vote buying and phone tapping fill the Board of Elections, but this year, no one has filed a formal complaint in Bladen County. Instead voters are choosing to appeal to the state Board of Elections, which is now investigating the May primary as well as the second primary between sheriff’s candidates Eric Bryan and Prentis Benston.

“Investigators in particular have certainly spent an inordinate amount of time in Bladen County in comparison to the other 99 counties that’s for sure,” said Marshall Tutor an investigator with the state Board of Elections.

Randall Corbett is a long haul trucker from Bladen County, but he spends most of his time on the road. Corbett says a detective with the Sheriff’s Office contacted his family because there was a problem with his absentee ballot.

“He said that, ‘Randall had sent in his absentee ballot, but they couldn’t make out his signature that good, but it’s OK because he voted for the right man.'” Corbett said. “And he said, ‘I could go get the ballot and bring it to your house,’ talking about my mother and father, ‘and ya’ll can take it inside, and one of ya’ll can sign it, sign his signature to it and bring it out to me and I’ll turn it in.'”

The problem is Corbett says he never voted at all. “I didn’t apply for or request an absentee ballot,” he said.

Corbett says he told Sheriff’s Capt. Herman Dunn about the situation, and that Dunn said not to do anything because he would take care of the problem.

“And he asked me not to talk to you guys in the media,” Corbett said. “He told me just to be quiet.”

We went to the Sheriff’s Office to speak with Dunn, but were told he was in a meeting. After waiting several hours to speak with him we were finally able to catch up with him as he was leaving and ask him about Corbett’s claims. After talking with dunn for a few minutes he declined repeated offers for a formal interview. Dunn said he couldn’t make any additional comments because the situation is under investigation.

According to the Bladen County Board of Elections, Corbett’s ballot was never submitted, and they’re working hard to keep track of every vote to restore faith in the elections process.

According to the state Board of Elections, Corbett’s claim is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to the reports received about Bladen County elections. We tried to contact the detective who originally spoke to Corbett’s family, but he is on sick leave.

Comment on this Story

  • solutiontoproblems

    There is is a simple solution to all the problems in Bladen County.
    It’s called a RECALL ELECTION. It’s the ultimate demonstration of
    democracy. It can remove folks like, Delilah Blanks, even elected
    Sheriff’s and Governors. You have to file a petition and 25% of the
    people who voted the person in must sign. A special election is
    held and a replacement can be voted in at that time. There is hope,
    but it takes action and diligence.

  • Bldctyemp

    Do Tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just Love Bladen County!!!!!!!!! God does not like UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    The only incident Mauceri could even bother to mention was an incident that involved a key campaign supporter of Prentis Benston’s. Why am I not surprised?

    Why doesn’t Mauceri say he’s doing the bidding of Benston’s opposition and get it over with. Ever since WWAY has started covering the sheriff’s race in Bladen County Mauceri has published one negative story after another about Benston and his supporters; none about Bryan, crazy Billy Ward, or anyone else within that circle. He even took the story of the DA disputing the firings of the deputies would have any effect on impending cases, and spun it to make it look like the Sheriff’s Department put someone in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.

    Joe Mauceri is a better spokesperson for the Billy Ward campaign than Ward could ever be. All Ward has to do is sit back and let Mauceri win this election for him, because lord knows Mauceri isn’t going to say a negative thing about him or the TRUE power players that were replaced in the Sheriff’s Department.

  • Randall Corbett

    Hello people,
    at what part of the story did I say that I was for any of the poeple running for sheriff in Bladen county? Im on record That I dont care about the local elections In bladen county, and I did not request or filed a ballot voting for anyone.

    But that don’t give the right for a memeber of the B.C.S.D to use my name and lie to my family and tried to have them to “Fix” my ballot, and he offer to bring it to them..it is stuff like this is why I dont waste my time to vote. I never voted poeple and I dont care who is in what office..

    I also offer the un-name member of the B.C.S.D. to come on tv and call me a liar if what I’m saying is not true…

    p.s. Get well soon Det.Kendall Kelly

    Thank you

    Randall Charles Corbett

  • Guest 2010

    Ward, who spent a short time as a state trooper, is still using the title of “former state trooper”. WWAY should find out what happened to Ward’s career with the SHP. If a guy can’t handle the stress of being a traffic cop, how can he handle the stress that goes with the county sheriff’s job. Yes, he got retired after a short tour, but what kind of discharge does a trooper get when he leaves after just a few years?

    There are too many unexplained questions for me to be convinced that Ward can handle the sheriff’s position. Benston is being hurt by his mother-in-law’s shenanigans, but he wasn’t the party trying to vote at different precints. Benston is a gentleman who has proven that he can handle stress. I’ve never met a more friendly, gentlemanlike person. He has proven himself over the past twenty plus years as a supervisor, unlike his opponent, who, after a short period as a trooper was terminated. Ward doesn’t want to discuss this as it could be very embarrassing to him and his campaign.

    WWAY should be digging into this instead of being one-sided with the reporting. There is a lot of difference between being county sheriff and being a traffic officer. Some of the difference is in the stress involved.

    My vote goes to the person who has proven himself to be mentally stable, Mr. Benston. Think long and hard before you vote. Benston has keep himself out of the problems that Billy Ray Pait started. Had Pait stayed out of this, Bladen County would have never been in the news. Pait got his feelings hurt when his kinfolks got terminated. Shame on Pait. Bladen County does not need this type of one sided publicity.

  • Guest

    The way WWAY 3 has covered the Bladen County elections and the Billy Ray Pait temper tantrum shows the one-sided reporting.

    I am beginning to think they are campaigning for Ward myself.

  • Guest

    If Mr. Benston was such a gentleman why didn’t he stand up challenge the corruption of the County Commissioners instead of sitting in the back of the courtroom between Herman Dunn and Bob Meeker while they appointed his hatchet man Storms? And yes please check into Billy Ward and find out just how much of a hero he is and what he took for the citizens of NC as a trooper. It went something like this: when he made that simple traffic stop that turn out to him chasing a crook into a building and the crook turning around and beating him in the head with a hammer and him spending the next month in a comma barely alive… yea let check into him you might just find out who would be the best for Bladen County.

  • Idiot Watcher

    I guess you also look down on veterans who experienced problems with things they had to encounter in the line of duty. Thousands of veterans have moved on to live productive lives and contributed greatly to society in the form of law enforcement, doctors, lawyers,and etc.

    The same is true for law enforcement officers who have encountered the unthinkable.

    People like you profile and brand people for life. It is fortunate for society that the majority does not think like you and I am glad.

    It is sad that folks will stoop so low to even bring up what happen to a young trooper who was trying to protect citizens just like you.

    However, this dirty style politics we have seen in Bladen County recently, only strengthens The Ward Camp. So keep on playing dirty folks of fed up. Geaux Ward.

  • Guest

    I guess it is very easy to judge someone when you don’t know them. I assume that is how you have come about your comments toward Billy Ward. Yes, Billy Ward was a North Carolina Highway Patrolman and served the State well, as he took the oath to do. You must not know Prentis that well either. You got the part right about 20 yrs at the S.O. but Supervisor???????, handle stress?????, I don’t think his give me pie job has been stressful. Has he ever worked the road and had to deal with the life threatening stressful tasks of real law enforcement, NO. I think we all know how he got his rank. I have never seen him demonstrate any signs of supervisory skills. I think you’ll be surprised why Billy Ward left the Patrol and it definitely is not embarrassing. On the other hand, let’s ask why Prentis’ money man and want to be Sheriff, former North Carolina Highway Patrolman Bob Meeker, terminated his career with the Patrol???????.

  • Guest

    Be assured that my vote for Ward will cancel your vote for Benston! Have a nice day!

  • Guest

    I have known Billy Ward my entire life and can honestly say that I know that he believes in doing the right thing. I know all about his past and no he wasn’t a navy seal.

    He has a tremendous amount of self-control and is highly educated. He was also an instructor at our local community college.

    He seriously injured his back in an altercation when he was in the Patrol and was bedridden for a while – it was not the stress.

    He has had enough personal tragedy and has learned from it. Because of this, I honestly believe that he will clean up Bladen County or at least make a great effort to do something about this serious drug problem we have here.

    He has worked hard for this and he deserves to be sheriff.

    Please give Bill Ward a chance – we need fresh blood at the BCSO.

  • The worse thing about this election cycle, or is it now a unicycle, is that it has shown what kind of elected officials we NOW have.
    We have had county commissioner Delilah Blanks try to vote twice knowing full well that it is against the law, the very law that she placed her hand on a Bible and swore to uphold and she gets off because she was stopped before she voted the second time and we all know who she was voting for, don’t we? Funny that she never needed to test the system until one of her’s ran. Then the charges, if there ever were any, were dropped because she was stopped beforehand, now let’s see, does that mean that I can rob a bank and if I get stopped beforehand, the charges get dropped?
    Then on top of that she, while she is caught with her hand in the cookie jar, or was it the ballot box, she tells a baldface lie on one of the county employees, Larry Hammonds, one of the most upright people that I know, (so if they catch me at the bank, it’s his fault, just let you know ahead of time), and again not a single county commissioner has the bal*s to move to kick her off the board for breaking the law or lying on a county employee but when one of their’s is let go from his job, all of a sudden they all grow a set and want to do something with someone. this kind of one hand holding everyone’s eles’ set is why we need term limits for all elected jobs. At least then, after their term was over they could be allowed to have their set back, if they were nice and she wanted to let them go.

  • Guest bladen county res

    if the things being said wasnt true why wouldn’t Dunn address them to the media.something is not right in BLADEN COUNTY i will be glad when this election is all over with…

  • Guest

    The detective out on sick leave was a very well known and vocal supporter for Bryan and not Benston so were is the story now!! Another food for thought, many are saying that the five deputies that were not sworn in was political well what about the other Bryan supporters including the detective who still have a job! Just saying…

  • Guest

    Cajones! Mr. Corbett, you have them! A tip of my hat to you!

  • Guest

    and vice versa pal….

  • Guest

    Ok, so he took a hit to the head with a hammer and stayed in a coma for a month.. I guess that too makes him the best candidate for Sheriff. Thank God he wasn’t shot and laid by the roadway.


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