Commentary

Editorial calls for independent investigation of 9th Congressional District.

In case you missed it yesterday, a Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com argued persuasively that it’s time for Gov. Cooper and Attorney General Stein to launch a new and independent investigation into the electoral malfeasance in 9th Congressional District. This is the conclusion from the editorial:

The silence has been deafening from federal prosecutors. While the current U.S. Attorney Bobby Higdon has boasted of indicting 19 non-U.S. citizens with illegal voting in the state, there has been NO WORD on what if anything was done in response to [elections official Kim] Strach’s two-year-old plea….

Why didn’t state elections officials and these prosecutors, knowing there was REAL potential for election troubles, issue warnings to local elections officials? Why didn’t they make it a special point of highly visible emphasis to instruct local elections boards on proper handling of absentee ballots?

If merely a fraction of the energy that’s been put into the less-than-necessary-but-nice voter ID distraction, was directed to assuring absentee ballots were properly handled, North Carolina might have been able to certify the ONLY congressional election in the nation that remains unresolved.

This is no small matter. It should not wait until state or federal prosecutors get around to completing work on an investigation.

It would be nice if we could count on, and trust the General Assembly to look into this matter. But legislative leaders are more motivated to gain partisan advantage than assuring every eligible voter can vote, voting is not manipulated or abused, and all votes are fairly counted.

Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein need to bring together an independent, non-partisan panel to look into why there was no action to investigate the voting irregularities in Bladen and other southeastern North Carolina counties, identify REAL problems with current voting procedures and recommend common sense solutions to make sure our elections are clean and fair.

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