Thursday, 18 April, 2019

North Carolina congressional candidate withdraws concession

Davis Turner  Getty Images North America Davis Turner Getty Images North America
Leonard Rios | 09 December, 2018, 14:45

The allegations of election fraud in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District are now supported by a devastating amount of evidence. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week in view of "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" involving mail-in ballots in the district.

The people who witnessed multiple ballots are loosely connected to Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative who is being investigated for alleged election fraud.

"Join me in this fight for the people whose voices were taken from them", he said. Harris, a Southern Baptist minister who had defeated U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., in the GOP primary, carried Union and Bladen counties.

"What we cannot have going forward from this point is an investigative and enforcement effort or process that has a partisan taint that could dramatically worsen the situation", said Sen.

"We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race".

Speaking of election results in California, where Republican candidates were wiped off the map of traditionally Republican Orange County, Ryan called the results "bizarre" and in defiance of "logic". Dowless is accused of paying workers to pick up absentee ballots it certain areas of the county.

On Friday, the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement called for an evidentiary hearing by December 21 to consider "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" during the campaign, particularly over absentee ballot collection.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Republicans should be concerned as well, because Dowless also operated in the GOP primary, and the allegations have significance beyond North Carolina.

This week, the elections board issued subpoenas to the Harris campaign and its general consultant, Red Dome Group, as well as the local sheriff, James A. McVicker, a Republican who won re-election last month and also hired Dowless to run his absentee-ballot program, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

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State officials refuse to certify the results of the congressional election that favors the Republican candidate Mark Harris by 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready. Wayne Goodwin, North Carolina's Democratic Party chairman, said residents claim activists went door to door seeking unsigned or unsealed absentee ballots, and then offering to cast the votes on their behalf. If true, the charges sharply contrast with those that Republicans have used to justify ballot restrictions around the country, said Myrna Perez, a voting-rights expert at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school. An analysis by the Charlotte Observer found that a low percentage of ballots in the district were returned in comparison with other districts in the state.

There is no evidence that the irregularities in absentee ballot returns changed the outcome of the race.

The probe appears to focus on Bladen and Robeson counties, which each had unusually high rates of absentee ballot requests and unreturned absentee ballots.

The fast-moving events have led Democrats to openly say that Harris may not be seated when the 116th Congress convenes on January 3, 2019.

"I don't know what happened", she said.

The Arizona law making it a felony in most cases to collect an early ballot was challenged in federal court before the 2016 election, and blocked by an appeals court.

The Wake County district attorney's office in Raleigh and the State Bureau of Investigation are also conducting probes, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told The Post.

Thursday, he said the party supported the board's move to hold a hearing later this month.

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