Mark Harris, the Republican congressional candidate dogged by allegations of absentee ballot tampering in the 9th District Congressional race, confirmed to WBTV that it was his decision to hire McCrae Dowless, but denied wrongdoing.
Lawmakers have been debating a voter ID bill crafted in response to a November referendum on the idea. NC last required ID in the 2016 primary election, when State Sen. Van Duyn says “over 1,000 people were denied a ballot on Election Day.”
Investigators want to learn whether political operators illegally harvested absentee ballots in Bladen and neighboring Robeson County, leading to a fraud investigation that has the 9th District congressional race in limbo.
The North Carolina Board of Elections has been investigating ballot irregularities in the 9th Congressional District race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready. The board will conduct a public evidentiary hearing in January.
NC congressional candidate Mark Harris directed the hiring of Leslie McCrae Dowless, who is at the center of an election-fraud investigation, despite warnings that he may have used questionable tactics to deliver votes, according to three individuals familiar with the campaign.
Amid an ongoing investigation into election fraud, North Carolina lawmakers this week opened the door to a new 9th District primary. That could be bad news for Republican Mark Harris, who won the election.
Who is Mark Harris? The former pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, Harris’ rise paralleled the fusion of the religious right and the Republican Party. He won the 9th District congressional seat over Democrat Dan McCready, but that’s in jeopardy.
Jens Lutz, a former Democratic Party county chairman, resigns from Bladen County elections board. Lutz warned of illegal absentee ballot tampering or fraud before the votes were tallied in the Harris-McCready race.
Democrats Cal Cunningham and Terry Van Duyn have already announced their 2020 campaign for NC Lieutenant Governor. The current Lieutenant Governor, Republican Dan Forest, is expected to run for Governor in 2020 against Roy Cooper.
Despite a criminal record and financial troubles, McCrae Dowless became a player in Bladen County politics. Now he is involved in the absentee ballots election scandal in North Carolina’s 9th district.
Voter ID probably would not have changed the outcome of the 9th Congressional District election involving Mark Harris because the issue appears to stem from people collecting ballots, and not casting them.
The investigation into voting irregularities in the 2018 election in Bladen County is, at least, fifth elections case since 2010 in the rural eastern North Carolina county facing questions in 9th District race.
Who are Andy Yates and Red Dome Group, the political consulting firm tied to Mark Harris and McCrae Dowless? Yates, a prolific Republican operative, started Red Dome in 2013. He has worked for many Republican candidates.
Fact Check: The N.C. GOP says “there aren’t enough ballots in question to change the outcome” of the race between Mark Harris and Dan McCready in the 9th Congressional District. The NC elections board hasn’t disclosed the scope of its investigation.