The case for massive election fraud in the North Carolina 9th congressional district got even stronger after Mark Harris — the Republican candidate for the House seat and the man who garnered only 904 more votes than his Democratic opponent, if you count the dubious absentee ballots illegally collected by his campaign operatives — revealed that he still owed over $34,000 to Leslie McCrae Dowless, the man suspected of orchestrating the blatant election robbery.
Dowless was employed by the Red Dome Group, a Charlotte-based consulting company that Harris’ campaign hired for voter turnout in rural Bladen County. According to a New York Times article, the Republican candidate’s Federal Election Commission filing listed a bill from Red Dome Group for $34,310 for “reimbursement payment for Bladen absentee, early voting poll workers; reimbursement door to door.”
The man that the political consulting group hired to execute its strategy, Dowless, is a convicted felon on charges of fraud and perjury, just the type of person to be trusted with unsealed absentee ballots if your intent is to steal an election by lies and fraud.
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The irregularities in the number and percentages of absentee ballots in Bladen County compared to other North Carolina precincts has led the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to refuse to certify the results of the congressional election in the 9th district while they investigate the allegations of fraud. Analysis of voting results shows that while 19% of absentee voters in Bladen County were registered Republicans, 62% of the County’s mailed-in ballots showed votes for Harris and the GOP.
Multiple Bladen County residents have described having their absentee ballots collected by “volunteers” in an illegal practice known as “ballot harvesting.” Cheryl Kinlaw, a local woman who was hired by Dowless to knock on doors and pick up ballots said she had been paid $100 to do so and didn’t imagine that it was illegal since Dowless “has been doing it for years.”
“I feel bad now that I know that it wasn’t legal, but I didn’t know at the time,” she said.
This is a stunning admission in the #NC09 election controversy by @wsoctv’s @JoeBrunoWSOC9 on what one of the “harvesters” did with the absentee by mail ballots she picked up: #ncpol pic.twitter.com/NtcmJOVnpE
— Michael Bitzer (@BowTiePolitics) December 3, 2018
The optics of the absentee ballot results in Bladen County are so bad that even North Carolina Republican Party leaders and Harris himself are now saying that they are willing to call for a new election if an investigation “finds proof of illegal activity on either side to such a level that it could have changed the outcome of the election.’’
Given that Nancy Pelosi, the likely incoming Speaker of the House, has already warned Republicans that the House of Representatives could refuse to seat Harris if doubts about the legitimacy of the vote remain, it looks like Harris and the North Carolina Republicans are backed into a corner.
“Any member-elect can object to the seating and swearing-in of another member-elect. We’ll see how that goes,” Rep. Pelosi said.
Given that Trump and other top Republicans have been ranting about voter fraud since before the 2016 presidential election it’s not surprising to see that it is a prominent tool in their own playbook for fraudulently stealing elections It fits right in with their time-tested tactic of blaming others for that which they themselves are guilty.
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Original reporting by Sydney Ember and Alan Blinder at The New York Times and by Eliza Relman at Business Insider.