By Erin Smith
Testimony on Tuesday morning in the evidentiary hearing regarding the results of the US House District 9 race centered on whether or not results were leaked early.
During the 2018 General Election, there was only one One Stop voting site located at the Bladen County Public Library. Agnes Willis, who served as a precinct judge, testified Tuesday morning regarding a tape that was run on one of the voting machines.
Willis testified that after the polls closed on November 3rd, 2018, a tape was run and several people who were not election officials looked at it. She testified that Tojie King made a comment and pointed to the place on the tape where the Bladen County Sheriff’s race was located and the people seemed to be looking at where King was pointing.
When asked if she reported this to Bladen County Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw, she said, “I never felt obligated to.”
Willis also testified to the fact that shortly after the election, on November 29th, she received a telephone call from Elizabethtown Attorney Matthew Dixon.
“He called me and I didn’t know who he was. I said, ‘Why are you calling me?’ and he said, ‘I have some questions,’” said Willis.
She testified that Dixon asked her if she could meet with him at his office and she said it would be about one hour before she could meet with him. Willis said he told her he would come to her house and bring an affidavit form and a notary with him. She testified that Dixon arrived at her home about one hour after speaking with her on the telephone.
Willis said Dixon asked her questions about the incident involving the tape at the library. She testified that she did not see the tape being run and did not know anything about it until Tojie King made his comment. She also testified that no one from the Bladen County Board of Elections was present at the library when the tape was run.
Willis also noted that no one had signed the “zero tape.” A zero tape is run at the start of an election and will usually be attached to the results tape.
Willis was given a copy of her affidavit and stated that Dixon wrote down her comments. She added Dixon did not tell her what he was going to do with the affidavit.
Willis also testified about her activities with witnessing absentee ballots during the election. She testified that she did not assist any voters but rather she witnessed ballots for a friend. Willis said the only ballots she witnessed were for her neighbors.
Mitchell Edwards took the stand on Tuesday afternoon and testified about the tape as well. He testified he signed the tape and then moved away so Willis and Michelle Maultsby could sign it. This contradicts Willis’ testimony that she did not sign the tape. Edwards was also asked about remarks made by Tojie King regarding the tape. Edwards testified he did not hear King make any such remarks again contradicting Willis’ testimony.