GOP Officials Warned About Potential North Carolina Fraud After Primary

Democratic congressional candidate Dan Mc Cready leans against wallboard as he pauses during a Habitat For Humanity building event in Charlotte N.C. on Sept. 26 2018

North Carolina's board of elections is also investigating concerns about ballot collection, as well as unusually high interest in absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties.

Voting restrictions became the central issue in Georgia's close gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, with Abrams accusing Kemp of abusing his office to cement his party's hold on power. A different group, she said, dropped off batches of hundreds of voter registration applications and vote-by-mail requests from August to October. As I noted yesterday, the Constitution and the Federal Contested Elections Act of 1969 gives the House a range of options in dealing with such a challenge, including ordering a new election or just flat-out certifying McCready as the victor and seating him instead of Harris.

The pattern was first identified by Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. In Bladen County, Dowless employees told local television station WSOC and BuzzFeed News that they collected absentee ballots from people and gave them to Dowless, which violates state law.

Unofficial ballot totals showed Harris ahead of McCready by 905 votes in District 9.

McCready's move comes after the head of the state Republican Party said he would support a new election in the state's unresolved congressional race if an investigation shows that wrongdoing swayed its outcome.

Moody led after Election Day, but Burton wiped out his lead after absentees and provisional ballots were counted. For almost the past decade, Dowless has been hired by state and local candidates to "get out the vote", and his past efforts have also been marked with absentee mail-in ballot irregularities.

Harris, the Republican candidate, won 61 percent of the mail-in ballots that were turned in. Dowless told the Charlotte Observer he has done nothing wrong.

At issue is who can handle completed ballots. He didn't return an email seeking comment. Harris said last week that his victory should be finalized while the board investigated.

Leading House Democrat Steny Hoyer on Tuesday said his party may not seat Harris if the election remains in question when Democrats take control of the lower chamber in January. The Board will hold a hearing on December 21 to investigate "claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities". "One of the explanations is that these operatives would take ballots from black and Native American voters and throw them in the trash", Cohen said. Absentee ballots in North Carolina require two witnesses' signatures.

Republican Mark Harris still hopes that the 116th Congress will seat him as the fairly elected representative for North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District.

"If they can show a substantial likelihood it could have changed the race then we fully would support a new election", he said in a statement, adding that Harris should be certified the victor if the ballots in question would not have changed the outcome.



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