Same-Day Registration Under Fire as Bladen Murkiness Grows

Dec 3, 2020 (Elizabethtown, NC) Yesterday’s site inspection of the Bladen County Board of Elections (BCBE) raised as many questions as it answered while bringing into doubt the notion certifying elections–or swearing in the supposed winners–before the validity of numerous Same-Day Registration can be determined.

Yes. THAT Bladen County. It’s the same NC county that was made famous during a hoax of a show trial that resulted in an elected Congressman Mark Harris agreeing to resign his newly elected seat and request a new election. It’s also the county memorialized by the TV game show Jeopardy.

Our biggest unanswered question involved the number of Same-Day Registration ballots that seemed to appear, as if they came out of a black box, on several occasions. The timeline for these spontaneously generated “new” voters defies logic.


Reporting the numbers

The vast majority of voters have no idea how much election data is uploaded by the North Carolina State Board of Elections ((NCSBE) on a regular basis. We have many complaints about the secrecy of their daily operations, but this is one aspect of transparency in which they lead the nation.

Starting back in early September, the NCSBE, in compliance with state law, uploaded a data file that reported the name and voter information for every absentee ballot they received back from a voter.

At first, only a few hundred people sent in their absentee ballots but each day the number would continue to grow. Then, when early voting began, hundreds of thousands of voters were added each day. On November 14,

Part of that daily treasure trove involved the people who walked in during early voting, registered, and voted all at the same time.

We call them same-day registration (or SDR) voters and we have ranted for too long about how the law creating this class of voters is tragically flawed and easily prone to voter fraud. For example, we reported in 2012, how control of Asheville-area’s (Buncombe) County Commission was decided by 18 votes and four months later, their election IT Director, Jennifer Sparks, confirmed that 64 SDR voters had never been “verified” as having legitimate local addresses. Their votes all counted and the election was certified, but they never truly lived in Buncombe County.

On November 21, we reported how Bladen County election administrators had not even begun the SDR verification process, despite the fact that Democrat candidate Michael Cogdell apparently won his County Commission seat by just 10 votes.

At that time, there were just under 400 SDR voters in Bladen County this past election.

Changing the numbers

But then a magical think happened.

Possibly reacting to our embarrassing story, the NCSBE burst forth an updated stack of voters on November 25 and it came with two surprises: First, every single voter suddenly appeared to have been sent their registration cards. And second, there were 48 brand new SDR voters in Bladen County!

The sudden appearance of that many voters did something election officials don’t like to do: It triggered the curiosity of our Chief Data Analyst, Jerry Reinoehl.

Working forward from the date of NC’s county canvasses, Jerry discovered that the number of SDR voters in Bladen had grown more than once. Starting at 255 on Nov 13, another 63 were added after the canvass. The next day, the elections were certified and another 77 SDR voters materialized.

To recap, from the date of county-level certifications (ten days after Election Day) to the date of the statewide certification (20 days after Election Day), Bladen County’s number of SDR voters increased by over 80 percent, from 255 to 443.

Yesterday’s most disturbing discovery came after we asked Bladen County Director of Elections, Chris Williams, how these sudden surges in SDR voters happened.

His answer?

“I don’t know.”