Source: Editorial Board
On the eve of early voting in North Carolina, an election protest was filed in one of the most hotly contested legislative races, throwing into question whether or not Republicans will be able to gain a supermajority in the state senate.
The protest alleges that the Republican candidate for Senate District 18, E.C. Sykes, does not actually live in the district he is running for and is potentially “ineligible” for the hotly contested race.
The 118-page protest alleges in painstaking detail that E.C. Sykes has continued to reside in a home he rents at 8604 Harps Mill Road rather than the address he is registered to vote at on 6816 Pro Deo Way.
The state constitution requires that all candidates for the General Assembly establish residency one year prior to the election.
The filing goes on to state that the “only structure at [the address] was a deteriorating house with no utility service, where neighbors have seen no one living since the departure of Delores Matthews who died in November 2021.”
In two separate affidavits, neighbors to the address made clear that they had never seen E.C. Sykes nor anyone on the property permanently live there. One neighbor even noted that the “electrical box on the outside of the house had been partially removed and disconnected.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Sykes are not at the property very often,” an affidavit from neighbor Jason Bell states. “I have never seen them there. They do not have a mailbox where they receive mail. I do not believe they are living in the trailer.”
Additionally, investigators in the filing documented Sykes “regularly leaving the house at Harps Mill Road in the morning and returning in the evening…” demonstrating that he has been consistently living at the home and not establishing his residency at his voter registration address.
To this day, there is no permanent structure at 6816 Pro Deo Way. The protestor seeks to disqualify E.C. Sykes from the election, which could jeopardize Republicans’ strategy to gain a veto-proof majority in the state Senate.