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North Carolina Democrat Claims County Officials Bribed Voters To Support His Primary Opponent

Nine signed affidavits allege that Stephens paid people to vote for Sampson and used her bail bond company to bribe voters with promises of bail help.

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Allegations of election bribery have engulfed a local Democrat primary in Robeson County, North Carolina.

In a complaint filed Thursday in Wake County Superior Court, Democrat Lacy Cummings accused Democrat Commissioners Wixie Stephens and Judy Sampson of paying local residents to vote for Sampson during the state’s March 5 primary elections. Nine signed affidavits attached to the complaint allege that Stephens engaged in illegal behaviors ranging from paying people to vote for Sampson to using her bail bond company to bribe voters with promises of bail help.

Results from that election and a March 27 recount indicate Sampson — the incumbent — defeated Cummings by five votes, 875 to 870, in the Democrat primary for the commissioners’ District 5 seat.

Cummings filed an “Initial Protest” form on March 15 alleging “two incidents involving voters in his district being directed to vote more than once and out of district by a sitting County Commissioner [Stephens] believed to be working for Sampson’s campaign, who also incidentally also drove these voters to the two different polls to cast two different ballots.” Cummings said he requested the Robeson County Board of Elections hear his allegations during its provisional canvassing meeting, but that the board declined to hear the claims and subsequently dismissed the protest form on March 27.

This prompted Cummings to file an appeal with the North Carolina State Board of Elections on April 1. The state board’s Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell administratively denied Cummings’ appeal on April 5.

Cummings claimed in Thursday’s complaint that he and his team “continued to be approached by members of the electorate and continued work to uncover additional instances of voter irregularity, or worse” while his appeals were pending before the Robeson County and North Carolina election boards.

Included in Cummings’ complaint are signed affidavits from purported Robeson County voters alleging Sampson and Stephens engaged in vote-buying during the election cycle. One resident who gave the name Gwen Woods alleged that Stephens gave her a $160 personal check signed by Sampson “to pay 11 voters that I told Ms. Stephens I had taken to vote.” Another, Christy Jones, claimed Stephens paid her $15 per voter she transported to vote for Sampson.

An affidavit from Kalem Sampson attested to receiving $60 from Stephens to vote for Judy Sampson and another $80 “to pay four other voters to vote for” Sampson. Similarly, a person named Maggie Woods claimed Stephens had paid her “$60 cash to vote for Judy Sampson.”

An affidavit signed by Trent Locklear claimed Stephens had offered to pay him $15 to vote for Sampson and also that she had paid his twin brother to vote for Sampson. “I witnessed Ms. Stephens paying several voters to vote for Ms. Judy Sampson,” the affidavit claimed.

A person named Paul Hunt claimed Stephens had paid his grandson $40 to vote for Sampson and had “transported” him to get a tribal card. An affidavit from Paula Ann Hunt alleged that “Ms. Wixie Stephens transported me to the Raft Swamp polling site to vote. Ms. Stephens paid me $25 to vote for Ms. Judy Sampson. Ms. Stephens also purchased a seafood plate for me from Get N Go Grill [and] told me [if] I ever went back to jail she would bail me out for free if I voted for” Sampson.

Similarly, an affidavit signed by Kaitlyn Woods said that Stephens, who owns a bail company, had previously bailed her out of jail but waived her monthly bail repayment of $200 for the month of February in return for voting for Sampson.

Lastly, a person named Jamie Oxendine claimed that “Wixie Stephens promised $20 per voter for voting for Ms. Judy Sampson. We had four votes. … The four votes were myself, Jessica Locklear, my son Jayden Oxendine” and a fourth illegible name.

Cummings said he did not have access to these testimonials until after he filed his initial protest form on March 15, according to the complaint.

“These allegations, if true, would each substantiate the probable occurrence of an outcome-determinative defect in the manner in which voters were counted or results tabulated, and also the probable occurrence of an outcome-determinative violation of election law, irregularity, or misconduct,” the complaint reads.

Stephens and Sampson are accused of bribing at least 21 voters, according to The Robesonian. Stephens has denied “pay[ing] voters or assist[ing] with their bail payments,” according to the outlet, but did acknowledge she “was working on Sampson’s re-election campaign this spring.” When pressed on the matter, she called Cummings “a habitual, unequivocal liar.”

Cummings has asked the court to issue a stay on the certification of the election results and an order allowing him to present his findings on the record. He urged the court to “make findings of felonious fraudulent activity by Stephens [and] Sampson” and also requested “the votes currently tabulated in the race … be recounted giving any and all proper deference to the irregularities and improprieties described” in his complaint.

Lacy Cummings Election Comp… by The Federalist


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