Investigators present evidence of ‘coordinated, unlawful’ absentee ballot scheme in NC 9th District election


On Monday, North Carolina State Board of Elections investigators presented evidence behind claims that the company Republican Mark Harris hired to help with his political campaign ultimately paid McCrae Dowless to illegally collect absentee ballots in a “coordinated” and “unlawful” scheme in Bladen and Robeson counties, WTVD reports.

Investigators kicked off a multi-day Board of Elections hearing by laying out evidence gathered during a two-month long investigation. That investigation included 42 voter interviews, 30 subject witnesses and subpoenas of documents.

The scheme involved a firm called Red Dome. That firm, which was hired by Mark Harris’ campaign, paid McCrae Dowless more than $200,000 between July 2018 and the November 2018 election.

According to investigators, Dowless paid workers cash to collect absentee request forms, to falsify absentee ballot witness certifications and to collect absentee ballots. Dowless paid his workers $150 for every 50 absentee ballot request forms they collected and $125 for every 50 absentee ballots they collected.

Witnesses said McCrae Dowless, who was hired by the Harris campaign, collected signed absentee ballots from voters, which is against the law. But Republicans say even if that is true, the outcome of the election would stay the same and Harris is the clear winner.

The evidence is being presented to a newly appointed Board of Elections.

Read more at WTVD.

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