CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Across Mecklenburg County and North Carolina the upcoming primary on Sept. 10 will bring candidates one step closer to election and the square-off between Democrat Dan McCready and Republican Dan Bishop will leave one person victorious in securing the 9th District House of Representatives seat. McCready has secured endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign.
This election was made necessary due to the general election being tainted in 2018 when McCready battled for the seat with Republican Mark Harris. Irregularities were found with absentee ballots. The incidents are being investigated by authorities and several people have been indicted in connection with the alleged fraudulent activities in both the 2016 election and the 2018 primary election, the North Carolina State Board of Elections said. The board ordered a new election under N.C.G.S. § 163-182.13(a)(4), which provides that the board may call for a new election if “irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness.” The vote to hold a new election was unanimous — three Democrats and two Republicans, the board shared.
Bishop is the chief architect of the discriminatory HB2, known as the “bathroom bill.” He also supports ultra right-wing agendas and opposed expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Equality North Carolina (ENC) has shared their endorsements, picking candidates who are more in line with their platform. They are: District 1, Larken Egleston; District 2, Jessica Davis; District 3, Caleb Theodros; District 4, Gabe Cartegena; District 5, Matt Newton; and At Large, Julie Eiselt, LaWana Mayfield, Jorge Milares and Braxton Winston. All of these candidates are Democrats. Other candidates running for these seats are James “Smuggie” Mitchell, Chad Stachowicz, Sean Smith, Jeremy Arey, Antionette (Toni) Green, Terry Brown Jr., Victoria Watlington, Richmond Baker, Charlene Henderson, Renee Perkins Johnson, Charles Robinson, Sean Thompson, Vinroy Reid and Mark Vincent. None of these candidates received endorsements.
Republican candidates running, but not endorsed are: At Large, Joshua Richardson (advanced); District 2, Jacob Robinson; District 4, Brandon Pierce (advanced); and District 7, Edmund H. Driggs and Victoria Nwasike.
Other endorsements for local governmental bodies across the state from ENC are: Raleigh (districts) — Sam Hershey (A), David Cox (B), Brian Fitzsimmons (B), Saige Martin (D), Stef Mendell (E), Russ Stephenson, Jonathan Melton, Nicole Stewart (At Large) and Caroline Sullivan (Mayor); Durham — Jillian Johnson, Javiera Caballero and Charlie Reese (At Large) and Steve Schewel (Mayor); Carrboro — Damon Seils, Steve Friedman and Susan Romaine (Alderman) and Lydia Lavelle (Mayor); Cary — Lori Bush (At Large); Chapel Hill — Michael Parker, Sue Hunter, Renuka Soll and Amy Ryan (At Large) and Pam Hemminger (Mayor); Davidson — Jane Campbell and Jim Fuller (Town Commissioner); Greenville — John Landrine (Ward 2 ); Hillsborough — Matt Hughes and Mark Bell (Town Board) and Jenn Weaver (Mayor); Huntersville — Lance Munger (Town Commissioner); Morrisville — Anne Robotti (District 1); Salisbury — Tamara Sheffield and Ladale Benson (Town Council) and Al Heggins (Mayor) and Wilmington — Kimberly Spader (Town Council).
In the meantime, Carolina Public Press reported that amid threats of litigation from all sides, the state’s election board voted 3-2 on Aug. 23 to certify a voting system that experts say is insecure, voting rights groups advocated against and many public comments opposed.
“This is disappointing,” Democracy NC Executive Director Tomas Lopez said. “But the decision on what ultimately gets purchased is with the counties, and with the county boards of elections in particular,” Carolina Public Press added.
Guilford and Mecklenburg county election officials expressed interest in replacing their current voting machine for all systems using newly certified technology, according to Dr. Stella Anderson.
These counties have indicated the desire to use the newly certified Election Systems and Software voting machine for every voter.
Lawsuits are expected from those who opposed the use of this technology, saying that the new system is not secure. The argument exists between paper and machine ballots. Paper ballots are considered easier to audit.