Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOTS
Judge weighing North Carolina absentee ballot procedures
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments over whether North Carolina is providing voters sufficient opportunity to fix absentee ballots that arrive without full information on who witnessed it. U.S. District Judge William Osteen was holding a hearing on Wednesday afternoon concerning a trio of lawsuits filed over how the state handles absentee ballot. Late last month, the State Board of Elections had agreed to allow voters to fix problems with incomplete witness info by sending in an affidavit and not starting a new ballot from scratch and having it witnessed again. But that change was temporarily halted by a different federal judge, who sent two cases brought by GOP leaders to Osteen.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Democrat’s personal scandal roils N. Carolina Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A race in North Carolina critical to control of the U.S. Senate has been thrown into turmoil over allegations of personal misconduct by Democrat Cal Cunningham, a married man who had an extramarital relationship this summer with a consultant. Previously undisclosed text messages obtained by The Associated Press and additional interviews show that the relationship extended beyond suggestive texts to an intimate encounter as recently as July. Cunningham’s personal indiscretion offers a fresh test of whether voters will punish candidates for their private, consensual activity, and the answer they deliver could determine which party wields power in the Senate. He is challenging Republican Sen. Thom Tillis.
Campaign: Staff tests negative after Tillis’ virus diagnosis
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis’ campaign says staff members in close proximity to him last week have tested negative for COVID-19 so far. Tillis announced his positive test last Friday and continues to be in self-isolation. Tillis has said what mild symptoms he experienced over the weekend had disappeared by Monday. A campaign spokesman said Tuesday no staff members are showing symptoms, but that the campaign’s Charlotte headquarters will remain closed the rest of the week. In-person campaign activities also are on hold. Tills appeared on a television show Tuesday morning and took questions by phone from constitutents about the virus.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS
Group sent thousands of incorrect voter registration forms
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina elections officials say 11,000 voter registration forms pre-filled with incorrect information were mistakenly sent to people in North Carolina by a group seeking to increase election participation. The North Carolina State Board of Elections released a statement saying that the company called Civitech mistakenly sent the voter registration forms that included incorrect name, address and birth date information. The company aims to increase voter participation and was not working with state or local governments. The company was reaching out to people sent the incorrect forms, which were intended for people who may be eligible to vote but weren’t currently registered.
As Harris pitches to Black voters, some want to hear more
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Sen. Kamala Harris is pitching the Democratic presidential ticket’s message directly to Black voters in states like North Carolina and Michigan in the closing weeks of the campaign. From barbershops to historically Black colleges and universities, Harris is speaking about police reform, ending the pandemic and creating a more equitable economy. She’s in a unique position as the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. But she’s still facing skepticism from some Black voters who question whether she and Joe Biden are committed and able to make meaningful change. Harris will speak to one of her biggest audiences yet during Wednesday’s debate with Vice President Mike Pence.
AP-NC-STUN GUN DEATH-EX-OFFICER
Former police officer pleads guilty in stun gun death
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina police officer has pleaded guilty to assault in the death four years ago of a suspect on whom he used a stun gun after a car chase. News outlets report 34-year-old Jesse Craig Santifort pleaded guilty on Tuesday and surrendered his North Carolina law enforcement certification. Initially, Santifort said that after 37-year-old Alexander Warren Thompson crashed his truck at the end of the chase, the suspect rushed at him and ignored commands to stop before using his stun gun on him. But witnesses said Thompson was in his truck with his hands up when the officer shocked him four times.
BC-NC-NO-SHOW JOB-APPEALS COURT
Appeals court tosses out conviction on no-show job
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state Court of Appeals has thrown out the conviction of a former prosecutor for hiring a colleague’s wife for a no-show job. WRAL reports Person County District Attorney Wallace Bradsher was disbarred and served five months behind bars in 2018 after being found guilty of obtaining property by false pretense, obstruction of justice and failure to discharge the duties of his office. The appeals court vacated the convictions on the obtaining property by false pretense and obstruction of justice charges, sending the case back to the trial court for any necessary proceedings. Bradsher’s convictions on the other charges still stand.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-ELECTIONS BOARD
North Carolina governor adds 2 GOP members to election board
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor has appointed two Republicans to the State Board of Elections to replace predecessors who resigned amid pushback over absentee ballot procedures they had voted to support. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has appointed Carr McLamb, a lawyer who previously worked at two state agencies; and Tommy Tucker, a former legislator, to the panel. Cooper picked the two from a list provided by the state GOP. Democrats hold a 3-2 majority on the board. The two previous Republican board members, Ken Raymond and David Black, resigned last month after supporting a unanimous board decision to alter absentee ballot rules as part of a legal settlement to a lawsuit by voting rights advocates.