NCGOP calls on elections board to immediately produce evidence or certify results in NC-09 race

Resolution comes after Harris told WBTV he didn’t feel supported by the party
(Corey Schmidt | WBTV)
Updated: Dec. 17, 2018 at 12:52 PM EST
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) – Leadership in the North Carolina Republican Party released a resolution Monday calling on the North Carolina State Board of Elections to either hold a public evidentiary hearing to detail evidence of election fraud in the 9th Congressional district or immediately certify the race’s results.

The release comes on the heels of an announcement by the NCSBE on Friday that it would hold an evidentiary hearing on January 11, 2019. Previously, the board had voted to hold such a hearing by December 21, 2018.

Republican Mark Harris beat Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in November’s election.

The NCSBE has refused to certify the race over allegations of election fraud in parts of the district, specifically in Bladen and Robeson Counties.

One main focus of the state’s investigation has been on a man named McCrae Dowless, who was hired by a Harris to run an absentee ballot operation in Bladen County.

Separate from Dowless’ operation, WBTV has obtained notes that appear to outline a second scheme by which people would be paid for collecting unsealed absentee ballots.

And a third group, the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC, paid workers who witnessed more than 100 ballots in November’s election. Two voters told WBTV they gave their ballots to a woman paid by the PAC.

Campaign finance records show the NC Democratic Party gave the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC $6,000 in the month leading up to the election from an account to which McCready’s campaign had contributed $100,000.

The resolution released by the NCGOP on Monday was sent to Kim Strach, the NCSBE Director, and the agency’s general counsel, Josh Lawson.

“The Board of Elections has failed to demonstrate in a timely manner the evidence regarding the allegations concerning the voting irregularities surrounding the Ninth Congressional District. The lack of transparency is concerning for citizens of Bladen County, the Ninth Congressional District, and the state of North Carolina,” the resolution reads.

The new resolution comes nearly a week after the party’s executive director, Dallas Woodhouse, had told WBTV the party was prepared to call for a new election in the contest based on questions of impropriety surrounding the tabulation of early voting totals.

Language nearly identicle to last week’s call for a new election was included in the resolution released by the NCGOP on Monday.

In an exclusive interview with WBTV on Friday, Harris noted the lack of support he had received from the party up to that point.

“Well I certainly don’t feel the circling of the wagons around Harris the way I see the Democrats circling the wagons around McCready,” Harris said when asked if he felt under attack by his own party.

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