Ballot fraud investigation muddies North Carolina election

Ballot fraud investigation muddies North Carolina election

Ballot fraud investigation muddies North Carolina election

The Democrat trailing in a North Carolina congressional race withdrew his concession Thursday as state election officials investigated allegations of absentee ballot fraud.

If the board concludes that the irregularities tainted those results, it could toss them and call for a new election. The president raised the specter of fraud again this year, suggesting without evidence that people had donned disguises to vote a couple of times in midterm elections.

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If the results are certified when the board meets December 21, the loser can contest the result within 30 days.

Highlighting the accusations in the rural North Carolina congressional district, Colbert told his viewers that Harris is a Baptist minister.

Documents released late Tuesday by the elections board as part of its investigation show Dowless appears to have been the top collector of Bladen County absentee ballot requests this fall.

The board met again last Friday and voted 7-2 to hold an evidentiary hearing on or before December 21.

Then J. Michael Bitzer, a politics professor at Catawba College in Salisbury, published an analysis that found jarring anomalies, particularly in Bladen County, which has a large black population, and Robeson County, which has one of the largest Native-American populations on the East Coast. It's not about the one House seat, it's about the "integrity of elections", she said.

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There are also claims that incomplete ballots were collected and then filled out later, Cohen said.

"As you know, it's not just the Democrats who have a problem with how it went in North Carolina, the Republicans have a problem, too, because it affected their primary election", Pelosi added. The reasoning behind the law is that it limits others from influencing a homebound voter's choices. On Sunday, Hayes said there weren't enough questioned ballots to change the race's outcome, and the next day he accused a Democratic member of the state board of "score-settling". Investigators seem to be concentrating on activities linked to a longtime political operative from Bladen County, where allegations about mail-in absentee ballots also surfaced two years ago during a tight election for governor.

Leading up to the 2018 midterms, Dowless was reportedly paid by a consulting firm hired by Harris to help get out the vote. Usually, those witnesses are family members or friends.

The board could certify the current results that make Harris the victor. Orange County Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker wrote in a newsletter last month that Republicans must "develop a response to this new law that allows us to remain competitive".

The executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party says he supports a new election if allegations of fraud in the 9th Congressional District race are proven true and it impacted the outcome of the race.

In North Carolina's 9th District, an alleged election tampering scheme casted doubt on the results of November's election. Hours later, the Washington Post reported that Robert Pittenger, the Republican incumbent Harris defeated in May, had noticed irregularities in the primary results and notified GOP officials at the time.

Amid the developments, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the House "retains the right to decide who is seated" and could take the "extraordinary step" of calling for a new election if the victor isn't clear.

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, the incoming majority leader, told reporters this week that Democrats could refuse to seat Harris. The law targeted "African-Americans with nearly surgical precision", said the 2016 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals' Fourth Circuit.

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