The Latest: State board takes Bladen protest, not others

Roy Cooper & Pat McCrory

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on efforts to count ballots in North Carolina as county boards consider of formal election protests (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

North Carolina state election officials are taking over a potential absentee voting fraud case in Bladen County but declined a request by Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign to intervene in other formal protests over fall voting in more than 30 other counties as the governor’s election count remains cloudy.

The State Board of Elections decided Sunday that the allegations raised in Bladen have risen to the level that its staff should step in. A local Bladen candidate alleged last week it appeared a handful of people may have signed and filled out roughly a couple hundred absentee ballots.

McCrory’s campaign said they preferred local boards continue the fact-finding in the other protests. The state board did decide it wanted to offer legal guidance to local officials on ballot issues and planned a public hearing Tuesday to receive suggestions about what to tell them.

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10:30 a.m.

North Carolina election officials are weighing whether to consolidate complaints alleging vote fraud in a move that could speed up deciding a winner in the state’s very close governor’s race.

The State Board of Elections scheduled a meeting Sunday to act on Republican Gov. Pat McCrory campaign’s request to move jurisdiction of 50 formal protests to the board. McCrory’s campaign manager says the complaints will be resolved quicker and avoid inconsistent decisions by local boards.

Unofficial results show McCrory trailing Democrat Roy Cooper by 6,600 votes. Cooper already declared himself the winner. His campaign says there’s no way McCrory can catch up. County boards haven’t finished their final ballot counts while awaiting information on certain voters who said they registered to vote at the DMV but weren’t on voter rolls.