The game is afoot: Scotland County sheriff

In Scotland Yard County, the incumbent sheriff has alleged vote buying by his opponent.

Scotland County Sheriff Shep Jones told the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Tuesday that he narrowly lost re-election because his opponent bribed voters with food, cash and alcohol.

The state board refused to order a new hearing, saying Jones did not present sufficient evidence to show the election was broadly tainted. However, the board did vote 4-1 to turn evidence gathered over to the district attorney for Scotland County.

"The closer to Election Day, the higher the amount that was offered," said Jones, a Democrat.

The accused sheriff-elect says Jones is full of it.

Ralph Kersey, a Republican and retired state trooper, denied all the allegations, saying his campaign had done nothing wrong.

"It's completely false," Kersey said after Tuesday’s hearing.

He won the election by 235 votes out of 10,437 cast.

The accusations include bribing people with cash "in the open for all to see" and bribing inmates with pizza. It's difficult to tell from this article just how credible these accusations might be. One thing is for sure, though, our upstanding, non-partisan biased, Republican-controlled elections board is looking into the matter.

Sherlock Holmes Chuck Stuber, a former FBI agent and investigator for the state elections board, said he had interviewed 40 people about the case but did not find many who were willing to say they witnessed the kind of fraud Jones described. Asked by a board member if he had found evidence to support Jones' case, Stuber said he had not uncovered anything to suggest the election was thrown.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014