December 18, 2018

Democrat withdraws concession in scandalous North Carolina race

07 December 2018, 03:38 | Elsie Buchanan

State officials investigate potential election fraud in North Carolina; emergency hearing possible

North Carolina candidate paid $428k to consulting firm linked to alleged ballot tampering

The board could decide to certify the election or call for a new one.

However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the victor. "But there's no way Mr. Harris knew", said Woodhouse. It would mean "this was fraud perpetrated upon voters", she said, "not fraud perpetrated by voters".

"Republicans claim to care about putting a stop to election fraud and protecting the integrity of our elections", North Carolina Democratic Party chairman Wayne Goodwin told reporters.

President Donald Trump fueled concerns when he formed a short-lived commission to investigate the issue after taking office. A new election may well be the only way for the GOP to save this seat ... if that's possible after this debacle, even in a district with an R+8 Cook index. In other words, McCrory attributed fraud to the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in MI and Wisconsin are fighting rearguard actions after the party lost control of top offices in November.

The current North Carolina scandal is rich on a number of levels. "This is against everything that we actively stand for", he said.

They point to unusual outcomes in the mail-in ballot totals in previous elections that appeared to benefit Democrats or Republicans, depending on the race and the year. He was active in Bladen County in the eastern part of the district.

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The current scandal came to light in late November, three weeks after the midterms.

Harris went on to narrowly defeat Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in an election that is now under heavy scrutiny.

"All Republicans across the state are horrified by this".

The pattern was first identified by Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Harris, the Republican candidate, won more than 60 percent of the absentee vote.

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

"There must be an investigation into the years of alleged absentee ballot fraud in Bladen County that is prompt, thorough, transparent and nonpartisan", Republican state Sen.

At the center of this is convicted felon L. McCrae Dowless, who was a consultant to the Harris campaign and something of an expert on absentee voting. Dowless told the Charlotte Observer he has done nothing wrong. The Harris campaign and Red Dome founder Andy Yates didn't respond to an email seeking comment. Harris said last week that his victory should be finalized while the board investigated.

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Lorrin Freeman, Wake County's district attorney, also has opened a probe, Gannon said.

Gerry Cohen, a former special counsel to the North Carolina General Assembly, said the state bans third parties from taking possession of ballots. A North Carolina woman on Tuesday admitted to illegally "harvesting" ballots for a contractor working for Harris' campaign. But of the voters who turned in the absentee ballots, only 19 percent were registered Republicans. "That's a felony in every state", he said.

Some voters said they handed their unsealed ballots over to one of these operatives. "That would also be illegal in every state". The Board will hold a hearing on December 21 to investigate "claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities". He added that more than 750,000 people would be without representation when Congress seated in January as a result.

In Congress, Democrats are considering their options.

"The House Administration Committee will have full investigative authority to determine the victor of the election", Pelosi added. Initial counts showed Moody to be the victor by 138 votes.

"There is reason to doubt the capacity of the state board of elections", Bishop said.

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