Republicans threatens lawsuit against Durham Board of Elections

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Republican Party announced Friday that it is prepared to take legal action against the Durham Board of Elections over absentee ballot envelopes.

Officials with the NCGOP say for nearly a month, since before Election Day, they were trying to get access to about 6,000 absentee ballot envelopes in Durham county. The reason, they say, is to make sure no ballots were submitted improperly.

GOP officials say they’ve only seen a fraction of the documents and now say they believe something is being hidden from them.

“It’s inappropriate for them to drag this out and to make it difficult,” said Tom Stark.

Stark is the legal counsel for the NCGOP. He says he is asking the State Board of Elections to intervene on the absentee ballot issue with the Durham Board of Elections.

“We’re just asking the state board to make sure this process occurs expeditiously. The whole state is anxious to get a result,” he said.

In a statement released Friday, NCGOP officials say after weeks of requests they finally were permitted to look at the envelopes on Thursday. However, they say it was only some of them and for a limited amount of time.

A spokesperson for the Durham Board of Elections says after receiving direction from the state to recount about 94,000, they could no longer spare the personnel needed to oversee the GOP’s absentee ballot request.

When the recount is completed the Durham board will again focus their efforts on assisting the GOP, the board said.

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