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Monday, 09 September 2019 17:55

4 candidates on the ballot for 9th Congressional District special election Tuesday

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There are four candidates in Tuesday's special election for the 9th Congressional District. They are pictured as they appear on the ballot: Dan McCready, Democratic Party; Jeff Scott, Libertarian Party; Allen Smith, Green Party; Dan Bishop, Republican Party. There are four candidates in Tuesday's special election for the 9th Congressional District. They are pictured as they appear on the ballot: Dan McCready, Democratic Party; Jeff Scott, Libertarian Party; Allen Smith, Green Party; Dan Bishop, Republican Party.

ROCKINGHAM — After nine months without representation in Congress, North Carolina’s 9th District should have someone going to the U.S. House of Representatives after Tuesday’s election.


Voters will have their choice between four candidates, two from the major parties and two from third parties.

The seat has been empty since Congress was sworn in Jan. 3.

The 9th Congressional District comprises Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Bladen counties, along with parts of Mecklenburg and Cumberland counties.

For Democratic Party candidate Dan McCready and Libertarian Jeff Scott, this election will be round two, as they faced off against Republican Mark Harris — who defeated incumbent Robert Pittenger during the primary — in the November election.

Harris unofficially won the tight race, with fewer than 2,000 votes over McCready. Scott garnered 1.8 percent in the original race.

The only two counties to predominantly favor Harris were Union and Bladen. McCready won the majority in Richmond, Anson, Scotland, Robeson, Cumberland and Mecklenburg counties.

The race was closest in Richmond County with McCready leading by only 2 percent or 281 votes.

McCready conceded, despite being within the margin for a recount.

However, the N.C. State Board of Elections refused to certify the results due to “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee mail ballots” in Bladen and Robeson counties.

McCready withdrew his concession and, following a hearing into the allegations, the board ordered a special election.

Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was working for the Harris campaign, and several accomplices have been criminally charged.

When filing opened, Green Party candidate Allen Smith threw his proverbial hat in the ring.

Citing poor health, Harris said he would not run again, which led to 10 Republicans vying for the nomination. Half of those lived outside of the district.

State Sen. Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg, won the primary with a little more than 47 percent of the vote.

Early voting for the special election ended Friday, with 3,566 Richmond County voters getting a jump on the Election Day crowd, according to Elections Director Connie Kelly.

The state board extended early voting in four counties due to Hurricane Dorian.

Smith told the RO for an earlier story that he had been told by some voters that there were only two names on the electronic ballots at one early voting location in Mecklenburg County.

Kristin Mavromatis, public information manager with the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, said Monday that there was no way the ballots could be different at one precinct and not the others, regardless of the type of equipment.

It is possible, however, that none of the names were on the ballot.

Mecklenburg also has municipal elections on Tuesday and only 25 percent of the county is in the 9th District, she said. And Mint Hill, she added, is split between the 9th and 12th districts.

Mavromatis said the board received no complaints from voters.

This election is open to all registered voters, regardless of party. 

Below is a list of polling places around Richmond County, with two being new locations:

Rockingham No. 1

City of Rockingham Parks & Recreation (Browder Park), 1311 Rockingham Road

Rockingham No. 2

Leath Memorial Library (Calvin Little Room), 412 E. Franklin Street

Rockingham No. 3

Northside Fire Department, 209 Bear Branch Road

Wolf Pit No. 1

East Rockingham Senior Center, 135 Safie 6th St.

Wolf Pit No. 2

Community Church Recreation Building, 193 Mill Road

Wolf Pit No. 3

Cordova School, 194 Church St.

Wolf Pit No. 4

Ellerbe Grove Baptist Church, 162 Ellerbe Grove Church Road

Marks Creek No. 1

First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 300 Charlotte Street, Hamlet

Marks Creek No. 2

First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 200 Rice Street, Hamlet

Beaver Dam No. 1

Fletcher’s Chapel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 108 McCoy Drive, Hoffman

Beaver Dam No. 2

Mt. Zion United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, 986 Ledbetter Road

Mineral Springs No. 1

Ellerbe Town Hall, 108 W. Page St.

Mineral Springs No. 2

Norman Community Center, 107 East Moore Street

Steeles No. 1

Mangum Community Building, 5838 Grassy Island Road

Steeles No. 2

Concord United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 316 Concord Church Road

Black Jack No. 1

Mount Pleasant Community Building, 876 Grassy Island Road

The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and unofficial results will be announced after all precincts have reported.

 

William R. Toler

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