GOP Officials Warned About Potential North Carolina Fraud After Primary

Carla Harmon
December 8, 2018

Since the election, numerous voters have claimed that their uncompleted ballots were collected and turned over to North Carolina politician Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr.

Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes, according to unofficial results in the 9th District. The state elections board will hold hearings this month as it looks into accusations that campaign workers for the Republican stole absentee ballots. But he and his colleagues were cautious about saying whether a new election is necessary. The margin was cut by half the next week, but he declined to seek a recount.

At issue is who can handle completed ballots. It is illegal in North Carolina for a third party to turn in absentee ballots. Harris won 61 percent of the absentee-by-mail vote in Bladen County, even though just 19 percent of the returned and accepted ballots came from Republicans.

Boyd also listed Dowless' office address when she dropped off over 230 voter registration forms at the Robeson County Board of Elections in September, according to board records reviewed by HuffPost. McCready, however, withdrew his concession to Harris on Thursday amid the ongoing investigation. He didn't return an email seeking comment.

It is the latest wrinkle in an election mess that left the 9th District as the last undecided House race of 2018. Harris said last week that his victory should be finalized while the board investigated. "I think we have to let the board of elections come show their hand if they can show that this conceivably could have flipped the race in that neighborhood, we will absolutely support a new election".

However, he said that if the outcome would not have been changed, the Republican candidate should be certified the victor.

Three Republican state senators, who represent parts of North Carolina's ninth district, asked North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday to create a bipartisan task force to investigate claims that a contractor working for Harris illegally urged people to collect absentee ballots.

Pelosi, who's nominated to become House speaker when Democrats take control in January, said that "any member-elect can object to the seating and the swearing-in of another member elect". The House Administration committee has "full investigative authority to determine the victor", she said. The same day, the executive director of the North Carolina GOP, Dallas Woodhouse, announced that he would support a new election if an ongoing state investigation uncovered firm evidence of fraud. They repeatedly cast the situation in political terms, asserting that any voting irregularities were not widespread enough to change the outcome of the election.

"If somebody said something about the absentee ballots, it is just very possible that it didn't register with us", Woodhouse told the Post.

'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.

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