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North Carolina: state auditor charges "voter fraud" and retreats

Facing South reports: The major political story in North Carolina yesterday, as Facing South reported, was the State Auditor's office retreating from claims of "voter fraud" and giving the green light to the state senate to pass a bill for same-day registration at early voting sites.

What's striking is how completely the auditor's office back-tracked, after raising the alarm of alleged fraud and delaying passage of the bill for almost two weeks. The Charlotte Observer reports:

State Auditor Les Merritt backed away Tuesday from the early findings of a review of North Carolina's voter rolls, telling lawmakers his office might find no irregularities at all.

"We'll eventually get to a correct, final report," Merritt said, "and that final report, it could very well say there isn't anything here, that everything's fine, we're doing a super job.

One issue won't go away: the role of Chris Mears, former political political director of the N.C. Republican Party, and now a public affairs staffer at the auditor's office. In a private email, he had admitted the "fraud" allegations were raised to stop the same-day bill (even as the auditor's office formally declared they had "no position" on same-day registration). -- Facing South

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