Although Republicans have often raised claims of voter fraud and been left hanging with little to no evidence to support their claims, in North Carolina, evidence of actual election fraud perpetrated by Republicans has emerged. Now, at least a few Republican state Senators are pressing for Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to create a bipartisan task force to investigate the scandal.
The local Board of Elections is already working the case, but the state Senators insisted this Thursday that the body wasn’t equipped to handle the scope of the problem.
Dan Bishop, who represents part of the 9th Congressional District where the tumult has unfolded, asserted:
‘What needs to happen right now is a comprehensive and transparent and nonpartisan investigative process so that voters can have confidence that the system is operating as it should.’
The controversy surrounds the collection of absentee ballots. Evidence has trickled in that known criminal Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. worked for Republican Congressional candidate Mark Harris’ campaign and in his role, worked to keep votes from Bladen County from going to Harris’ opponent, Democrat Dan McCready. At present, Harris leads McCready by 905 votes in the available unofficial tally, which translates to a margin of under one percent.
Voters in the area have claimed that Harris-affiliated individuals went door to door collecting absentee ballots. A large number of these ballots got turned in with the same names popping up as signed witnesses, despite the large scale collection of ballots in such a manner remaining a felony in North Carolina.
Harris ended up in current tallies with a portion of the absentee votes in Bladen County that’s well above the portion of actual active Republican voters, and some of the ballots may have been filled in before submission while others may have been discarded. USA Today notes that local analysis has found a low portion of returned absentee ballots compared to other North Carolina districts, with most of those still outstanding corresponding to black or Native American voters.
Besides Bishop and his colleagues, others have already made their intent clear to push for the truth in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. The North Carolina Republican Party’s Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse has indicated he’s open to an entirely new election in the district, although he’d previously dismissed the idea.
Meanwhile, House Democrats — who will be in the majority this coming January — have insisted they won’t swear Harris in until the full scope of the situation is uncovered.
Virginia’s House Oversight Committee Dem Rep. Gerry Connolly called on Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to hold an emergency hearing on the issue before the current Congress finishes its work, although it’s hardly set that he’ll actually do that.
President Donald Trump and a number of other Republicans who have sounded a false alarm about voter fraud over and over again — including over issues in this very midterm elections cycle — have remained largely silent on the present issue. All of that previous concern about voters losing their freedom to make their voices heard went right out the window, apparently.
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