ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Board of Elections has scheduled a hearing for the Dublin election protest.
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Board of Elections will conduct a hearing regarding the protest filed by Dublin Town Commissioner candidate Richard Douglas Sibbett. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. at the Bladen County Board of Elections office, located at 301. S. Cypress Street in Elizabethtown.
Last week, Sibbett filed a protest with the Bladen County Board of Elections in which he alleges voter fraud on the part of fellow candidate and front runner Jeff Smith. Sibbett claims the town illegally consented to provisional voting in a letter sent by the town clerk without the commissioners’ knowledge. Fellow commissioner David Kirby affirmed the commissioners knew nothing about the letter. Sibbett also alleges ballots cast in the election were from addresses with vacant homes or by individuals who do not live in the town limits and implicates incumbent Jeff Smith in the fraud.
Smith maintains his innocence, stating the absentee ballots were cast by eligible voters. In a letter to the Bladen Journal, Smith claims there’s “no evidence whatsoever” for Sibbett’s accusations and vows a defamation lawsuit. At least one absentee ballot voter named by Smith has come forward and said the address used by Sibbett is an old address.
The Board of Elections held a preliminary hearing last week and agreed to move forward.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.