• Affidavits: Votes not recorded for 3 people who handed their absentee ballots to strangers

    By: Joe Bruno

    Updated:

    RALEIGH, N.C. - In sworn affidavits released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, three women said they gave their ballots to strangers because of a promise that their votes would be delivered to elections officials.

    [ALSO READ: Documents detail how absentee ballots gathered in NC vote]

    A review of the North Carolina voter registry shows none of the three women had votes recorded in the 2018 election.

    In a sworn affidavit, Callie Locklear, a Robeson County Democrat, said she decided to bring her sealed ballot envelope to an early voting location. According to the affidavit, when Locklear arrived at the location, a man standing outside was collecting ballot envelopes.

    “A bunch of crooks,” Locklear told Eyewitness News reporter Joe Bruno.

    Locklear said in the affidavit she did not know the man personally, but the man offered to deliver her sealed ballot to county elections officials inside. Locklear took the man up on the offer.

    “There's a whole lot of people out there voting, so I figured it would be easier for him to take it in (rather) than me,” Locklear said.

    With her voice silenced, she thinks the election was stolen.

    “I didn't know people did stuff like that,” Locklear said.


    Past coverage:


    In another affidavit, Stephanie Page, a Robeson County Democrat, said a man came to her home and offered to deliver her absentee ballot to county elections officials. Page wrote in the affidavit that she did not know the man personally, but gave him the envelope.

    She thought her ballot would go to the Board of Elections, but her vote was never recorded.

    "Just do the right thing and go out and vote instead of giving it to people who come to your house," Page said.

    In a third affidavit, Melissa Williams, a Bladen County Democrat, said a woman came to her home and also offered to deliver her ballot to officials. Like Page and Locklear, Williams wrote she did not know the woman. Williams wrote in the affidavit that she provided the woman with her unsealed absentee ballot envelope.

    [PAST COVERAGE: School board candidate says McCrae Dowless asked her to collect absentee ballots]

    Williams told Bruno that, at the moment, she doesn't have faith in the election system.

    “This shouldn't have happened,” Williams said. “I know it has been all over the TV and people's votes not getting counted. I don't think that is fair.”

    All three women said in their affidavits that they requested the absentee ballots.

    State law prohibits absentee ballot collection in these ways and it's unclear what happened to the votes.

    Two people interviewed by Channel 9 earlier this month said McCrae Dowless paid them to pick up absentee ballots. After picking up the ballots, the women told Channel 9 they delivered the ballots to Dowless, but are unsure if all of the ballots were mailed to elections officials.

    "What he did with them, I don't know," Ginger Eason said. "That's on him. I just picked them up and delivered them to him."

    It's unclear who the people are that handled the three women's ballots.

    It's also unclear if these ballots were handed to the same people or if these people were working for McCrae Dowless.

    Dowless declined an interview with state investigators and an attorney for Dowless said he denies wrongdoing.

    [PAST COVERAGE: Potential GOP primary candidates in 9th Congressional District]

    In another affidavit released by the NCSBE Sunday, the Bladen County democratic party chairman said he heard Dowless told former Bladen Elections Director Cynthia Shaw that he "had a new trick", which involved throwing the absentee ballots in the trash.

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