RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As of Tuesday morning, North Carolina’s State Board of Election (SBE) said they have received 15 reports of voter or election official intimidation since early voting began.
No such incidents have been reported on Election Day, according to Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
“Thus far, this morning we have received no additional incident reports that rise to this level. Our processes are working and we are proud of the incredible work that of North Carolina election officials and the partnerships with local, state and federal officials that have all worked to ensure we can deliver safe, secure, fair, and accurate elections to the voters of North Carolina,” said Bell.
Bell said if needed some of reports of intimidation have been escalated to law enforcement.
On Monday, Bell described one act of reported intimidation she called the most egregious.
“We did have a situation in one county where a one-stop worker was followed from the voting site, to the elections office and then followed to their home. This is possibly the most egregious situation that we’ve had in this point in time. None of this is okay,” said Bell.
Bell described another situation included where one-stop workers were videoed as they brought in materials. Some of those workers had their license plates recorded on video as well.
The SBE has asked for “civility” from those in and around polling places. Bell would not say if SBE was watching any precincts closer than others as a result of voter intimidation. However, the Department of Justice announced they would be monitoring polling places in five counties.
Emergency meeting scheduled
Bell announced the SBE would hold an emergency meeting today after four polling places experienced delayed opening.
In Robeson County, one polling place opened one hour late because the building was locked and election workers could not get inside the building. Three sites in Columbus County had delayed starts because of issues with printing Authorization to Vote forms.
Bell explained the delays would not impact election results.
“They are in no way nefarious or fraudulent. These things happen,” said Bell.
The SBE will hold emergency meeting to ask if any voting should be extended at these sites. If they decide to extend voting hours, results from the affected counties will not be released until all precincts finish voting.
The board will still release initial results for every other county where polls closed at 7:30 p.m.