GOP hit with election fraud claims after utilizing situation as rallying cry

Saul Bowman
December 9, 2018

Dan McCready's reversal came as a top leader at the state's Republican Party said it would support a new election in the unresolved 9th Congressional District race if an investigation shows that wrongdoing swayed its outcome.

Dowless, who has worked on political campaigns in Bladen for at least a decade, touts his ability to mobilize voters to cast ballots by mail, according to people who know him. And with even Woodhouse conceding that a new election might be necessary, Harris's chances of occupying a seat in Congress are beginning, ever-so-gradually, to shrink.

Woodhouse's concession comes one day after the editorial board of the Charlotte Observer called for a new election.

Gerry Cohen, a former special counsel to the North Carolina General Assembly, said the state bans third parties from taking possession of ballots. The board also got a rash of calls from residents who said that canvassers told them their voter registration had been canceled, Stone said, and he alerted the North Carolina State Board of Elections of the irregularities this summer. Among them: Did Harris' 905-vote win over Democrat Dan McCready rest on fraud?

He recalled concluding that Harris had won the overall vote with a strong showing from evangelical voters, but he said: "We did not look real specifically at absentee ballots".

'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 are not ready to call for a new election yet", Woodhouse said.

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

The state Board of Elections, charged with conducting the investigation, is also in turmoil. That scandal, involving the alleged disappearance of minority voters' absentee ballots to the apparent benefit of Republican candidate Mark Harris, underscores a remarkable turn in the battle over election integrity.

Pelosi is nominated to become House speaker when Democrats take control in January.

But he said there was "a lot of angst" among his campaign aides, who "were all upset about what happened".

"I think you should wait and see if there was actually fraud here".

Dowless has not returned CNN's requests for comment.

Attention pivoted to a turnout operation run by Dowless, who was working for Red Dome Group, a company hired by the Harris campaign.

When the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement met November 27, it was supposed to sign off on the results of about 1,300 state and local elections, as it usually does shortly after Election Day. "If people were going around and collecting the ballots, and the ballots were not secured and either manipulated or done away with, then that might, potentially, be part of it".

In affidavits offered by the state Democratic Party, some Bladen County voters have described that people came to their homes to collect their absentee ballots, whether or not they had been fully completed or sealed in an envelope to keep them from being altered. Wake County district attorney Lorrin Freeman told CNN on Wednesday that many appear to have been destroyed.

Concerns about voter harvesting anxious state election officials so much that they sent a letter to every Bladen County address where a voter requested a mail-in ballot asking the voter to call them if someone else tried take the ballot or fill it out. The Board will hold a hearing on December 21 to investigate "claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities".

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