- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina State Board of Elections has refused to order a new election for Scotland County sheriff.

But multiple media outlets reported that the board decided Tuesday to turn over Sheriff Shep Jones’ allegations of vote buying to the local district attorney.

Jones lost to Republican Ralph Kersey last month by 235 votes.

Jones is a two-term Democrat who accused Kersey of vote-buying in several parts of the county.

Kersey is a retired state Highway Patrol trooper and denies the allegations.

Elections board spokesman Josh Lawson said the agency felt Jones did not prove that the alleged problems would have changed the outcome of the race.

But Lawson said the allegations are being sent to the Scotland County district attorney.

It was not clear when Kersey will take office.

The Scotland County Board of Elections said it had received at least four complaints of alleged vote buying, and turned those over to the state elections board for an investigation.

Jones became Scotland County’s first black sheriff in 2006. He was the target of a state investigation earlier this year about the possible mishandling of money. State investigators announced this fall that there would be no criminal charges.

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