Donald Trump did not invent political fraud, but he certainly has opened the gate to let it loose upon the country from the Oval Office to the Congress. A North Carolinian Republican has done everything in his power to wriggle out of taking the legal pathway to the U.S. Congress. This was just his latest attempt.
U.S. Representative Mark Harris (R-NC), a Trump supporter, won his election against Democratic Dan McCready by 905 votes during the 2018 midterm elections. Harris was so hot to take office, he went to Washington, D.C. for freshman orientation and picture-taking. There was just one problem, one huge problem.
Harris allegedly cheated his way into a win by hiring people to pick up and throw away mail-in absentee ballots. The North Carolina elections board decided to investigate the situation. As a result, the state has not officially certified his win.
Still, Harris could not wait for the results, so he and his attorney went to Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway. They asked the judge to order the state to certify the results of the election.
At the beginning of the trial, Ridgeway requested that Harris’ attorneys wait just the nine days when the new elections board will act rather than take it to a judge. He said, according to The News Observer:
‘I don’t think anybody knows what the investigation shows.’
The judge said it was “extremely unusual” for a court to interfere in an election:
‘Certification is not appropriate until the investigation is concluded. ‘It’s highly unusual for a court to step in for certification. It’s an extraordinary step to ask a court to do.’
The situation got worse, because there is no sitting North Carolina state board of elections. Even though the board started the investigation, the board was ruled unconstitutional and dissolved. That meant a replacement board will not be put in place until January 31.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Amar Majmundar claimed that the Republican intentionally delayed the state elections board’s investigation. The candidate refused to meet with investigators until he knew the board was dissolved.
Harris and his attorneys argued his case for two hours before the judge. Ridgeway said he would refuse Harris’ request:
‘This is an extremely unusual situation, with no board in place, and asking this court to step in and exert extraordinary power in declaring the winner of an election, when that is clearly the purview of another branch of government.’
Ridgeway continued, saying that he would not order elections officials investigating a possible crime to act before the investigation was complete:
‘…(state law) has authority under to initiate and consider complaints on its own motion. Until a protest is resolved there is no requirement the board must certify an election.’
The North Carolina Democratic Party chair Wayne Goodwin said:
‘We are pleased that Harris’ frivolous request has been denied and that North Carolina can get back to investigating allegations of systematic electoral fraud committed on behalf of Harris’ campaign.’
Reporter for WSOCTV Joe Bruno said:
‘Harris attorney David Freedman and Aaron Simpson of the McCready campaign are expected to address the media shortly.
‘Freedman says they have not decided whether they will appeal. He says now they will prepare for an evidentiary hearing.’
Majmundar argued that a finding by the investigation might find that Harris’ win was free from fraud, but the investigation takes time:
‘It’s the remedy. And that’s not just for Dr. Harris. It’s the remedy for anyone.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.