WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Officials with the New Hanover County Board of Elections are looking into a complaint filed by a voter.
The complaint, filed by John Anderson, concerns two incidents he said occurred on Election Day and how that could impact the election for the New Hanover County Commission.
According to an affidavit and additional attachments filed by Anderson, the concerns occurred at Precinct W-29, which is the Williston Middle School precinct on 10th Street. Anderson said a witness, Adam Rogers, who he said served as an election judge at the precinct, said that officials did not regularly inspect the voting enclosures and that several times sample ballots created by the New Hanover Democratic Party were found in the booths. The complaint says precinct officials should remove those sample ballots after the voter leaves, because the presence of the ballots could have tainted all subsequent voters who entered the enclosures with the sample ballots still in the enclosure. Anderson says this violates several voting statues in North Carolina.
In addition to the sample ballot issue, Anderson says there was a violation of procedure for turning in materials related to the election that night. Anderson says while he was at the Board of Elections office Election Night, he witnessed a vehicle pull into the back of the building to unload what he says were election materials. Anderson said he recognized the woman as an election precinct official from W-29. The concern with what he saw, Anderson said, was that she came to the back of the building an hour after the other precinct officials returned their materials. He said the other officials came through the front of the building and were escorted by a deputy.
Anderson said these events affected the integrity of the precinct and the votes associated.
Right now, Republican Skip Watkins and Democrat Rob Zapple have the most votes in the election; Watkins received the highest number of votes with 28 percent. Zapple, however was neck-and-neck with Republican Derrick Hickey. Both had 25 percent of the vote with just more than 200 votes dividing the two. On Monday, Hickey announced he requested a recount. That is scheduled for Thursday.
In the W-29 precinct, Zapple took second place with 1,037 votes, while Patricia Spear, also a Democrat, came in first with 1,064 votes. Watkins and Hickey trailed far behind, with only 84 and 71 votes.