State Politics

NC GOP’s Woodhouse praises Trump’s voter fraud probe in fiery MSNBC interview

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the N.C. Republican party, left, and N.C. Republican Sen. Bob Rucho hold a press conference outside the N.C. Board of Elections building in Raleigh Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 30, 2016.
Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the N.C. Republican party, left, and N.C. Republican Sen. Bob Rucho hold a press conference outside the N.C. Board of Elections building in Raleigh Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 30, 2016. cseward@newsobserver.com

N.C. Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse said Thursday that voter fraud concerns in North Carolina illustrate the need for President Donald Trump’s investigation into the issue.

Woodhouse appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning in another dueling brothers segment with Brad Woodhouse, his liberal sibling who leads the advocacy group Americans United for Change. The Woodhouses were asked about Trump’s plan to investigate “widespread” voter fraud and the president’s false claims that millions of people voted illegally in last year’s election.

Dallas Woodhouse, who led N.C. Republicans in a series of voter fraud complaints after a close governor’s race, said he thinks the probe is a good idea.

“Look, I just think this is something that needs to be looked at,” he said. “Let’s provide some confidence to the system.”

Woodhouse said he’s seen evidence of problems in North Carolina. “We’ve seen voter fraud in North Carolina, it may not be widespread,” he said. “We’ve had two local elections that were thrown out for vote buying and fraud.”

Last year, five towns in the state held do-overs of their municipal elections after the State Board of Elections ruled that there was “evidence of irregularities sufficient to cast doubt on the outcome.”

The incidents were minor: In Trinity, a city council race was tied and someone complained that one of the voters had moved outside city limits. In Benson, some voters were given ballots for the wrong town commissioner district.

Losing candidates filed accusations of vote-buying in a Lumberton town council race, prompting a second election there in March. The 2016 allegations there were not specific, but previous vote-buying claims alleged that a campaign had given voters $5 vouchers for meals at a Huddle House restaurant.

Nearly all of the NC GOP’s complaints after the November elections were rejected by the State Board of Elections for being filed too late, and they did not involve enough votes to affect the outcome of the close race between Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper.

On MSNBC Thursday, Brad Woodhouse criticized his brother’s actions in the governor’s race. “Your efforts in North Carolina on voter fraud were nothing more than a documented attempt to suppress the votes of African-Americans and young people,” he said.

The N.C. Democratic Party issued a statement about Dallas Woodhouse’s comments on Thursday afternoon.

“President Trump’s bizarre claims of massive voter fraud have been refuted by independent experts and condemned by leaders in both parties,” spokesman Mike Gwin said. “Given the NC GOP’s track record of using imagined fraud to justify voter suppression, Dallas’ comments in support of President Trump’s wild goose chase shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.”

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