Once upon a time there was a November 2018 election in the 9th District of North Carolina held, for voters to decide on their pick for a US congressional seat. The Republican Party candidate Mark Harris, was facing the Democratic Party contender Dan McCready. But as of the 21st of February 2019, the North Carolina Board of Elections members have yet to certify these election results because there has been credible reporting of widespread voter fraud by an operative hired by the Mark Harris campaign.
The November 2018 results came in with 100 percent of precincts reporting, that the republican Mark Harris was ahead with 49.3 percent of the vote, followed by Dan McCready with 48.9 percent.
The Cook Political Report had rated this race as “Toss-Up Republican.” The republican President Donald Trump had won this state by about 3.7 points but he won in the 9th District by about 12 points.
This ended up being a much closer race than had been expected. The difference added up to about 905 votes out of over 280,000 ballots in favor of the republican candidate Mark Harris.
The Democratic contender Dan McCready had even concede the race but he later withdrew it.
But overtime, it became apparent that there was proof of widespresd voter fraud.
As per a December 6, 2018 WBTV report, “The North Carolina State Board of Elections has twice voted to not certify the results of the 9th Congressional District race because of reported ballot irregularities in portions of the district, including Bladen County.”
“Specifically, investigators with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the NCSBE are probing allegations of impropriety surrounding efforts to promote and collect absentee ballots from voters.”
“The board voted to hold an evidentiary hearing in the matter before the end of the year 2018).”
“Much of the public scrutiny has centered on a man named McCrae Dowless, who was paid by the Harris campaign as a contractor for the candidate’s top consultant.”
“Dowless has come under fire in recent weeks over questions surrounding work he did in promoting absentee voting for Mark Harris, a Republican who beat incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger in the primary and McCready in the general election for the 9th Congressional District.”
“WBTV has uncovered evidence that points to coordinated efforts by two other groups to target absentee voters.”
“On Tuesday, WBTV exclusively obtained a set of handwritten notes reportedly made by a Bladen County businessman and local elected official that outlined a plan to pay people in exchange for collecting unsealed absentee ballots.”
During the week of February 17, 2019, the North Carolina Board of Elections held a hearing where they heard ample testimony about how the voter fraud had been conducted. But the most gut wrenching testimony came from John Harris, a local prosecutor who just happens to also be the son of the republican candidate Mark Harris. He testified against his Dad’s interests. On the 21st of February, Mark Harris took the stand. He has called for a new election. The NC Board has ruled in favor of holding another election.
Here’s the rest of the story…
On February 20, 2019, Amy Gardner of the Washington Post penned the following report,Candidate’s son warned father of N.C. political operative’s alleged tactics
“The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday (2/20/19) that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation had previously used illegal tactics to win votes.”
“John Harris, now an assistant U.S. attorney in Raleigh, said he advised his father in conversations and emails that he believed Leslie McCrae Dowless was “shady” and appeared to have illegally collected absentee ballots in 2016 while working for a different Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.”
“The younger Harris, who is 29, said he offered the advice to his father as he considered whether to hire Dowless to run his absentee-ballot program in the 2018 congressional race. He conveyed similar concerns to the campaign’s chief strategist, Andy Yates, he said. Mark Harris hired Dowless despite his son’s concerns, which he said he expressed starting in the spring of 2017.”
“At one point during his testimony, John Harris’s voice cracked and his father wept.”
“I thought what he was doing was illegal, ” John Harris said about Dowless. He added: “I had no reason to believe that my father actually knew, or my mother or any other associate with the campaign had any knowledge. I think Dowless told them he wasn’t doing any of this, and they believed him.”
“Harris’s dramatic testimony undercut claims by both his father, a 52-year-old evangelical minister, and Yates — who completed nearly eight hours of testimony earlier Wednesday — that they had not been aware of any red flags that Dowless might be breaking the law. Investigators also shared an email between father and son in which the younger Harris wrote: “Good test is if you’re comfortable with the full process he uses being broadcast on the news.”
“John Harris’s account ended the third day of testimony before the North Carolina State Board of Elections, which is hearing evidence this week to decide whether a suspected ballot-tampering scheme tainted the outcome in the 9th District, where Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in unofficial returns. The district runs along the South Carolina border from Charlotte to rural eastern North Carolina.”
“The election, the last undecided congressional race in the country, has been in limbo since November, when the board declined to certify a winner and launched an investigation instead. The board’s decision on whether to certify or call for a new election will wait at least another day, with the elder Harris scheduled to open his testimony Thursday morning.”
“The younger Harris told the board Wednesday that he began studying absentee-ballot tallies in the 9th District in June 2016, when his father narrowly lost the Republican primary to then-incumbent Robert Pittenger. In tiny Bladen County, Harris and Pittenger had dramatically lost the vote among mail-in voters to a third candidate, Todd Johnson — who had hired Dowless to run his absentee program.”
“John Harris described digging into the numbers and discovering that mailed ballots for Johnson had arrived at county election offices “in batches” — which he believed suggested that they had been collected illegally by campaign workers.”
“It is a felony in North Carolina to collect and turn in another voter’s ballot. Harris said he told his father then of his suspicions. Dowless, 63, a Bladen County native who declined to testify this week to avoid self-incrimination, is accused of doing just that in the 2018 cycle — hiring a team of workers to illegally collect, sign, forge and turn in ballots.”
John Harris emphasized his belief that his parents did not know of Dowless’s alleged tactics, but he also acknowledged in wrenching testimony that they “wanted” to believe Dowless.”
“The younger Harris asked the elections board if he could make a few final remarks after lawyers had completed their questioning of him.
“I love my dad, and I love my mom,” he said. “I certainly have no vendetta against them, no family scores to settle. I think that they made mistakes, and they certainly did things differently than I would have done them.”
“Harris also criticized both parties for working more to protect their political interests than to protect the integrity of the electoral process.”
Link to entire report/ video: Candidate’s son warned father of NC political operative’s alleged tactics
This post was updated on February 21, 2019.