With hearing set to begin, a look back at the election fraud investigation

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NC9 Preview
Updated: Feb. 17, 2019 at 9:17 PM EST
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RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - After more than two months, a resolution to the ongoing election fraud investigation may be in sight.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections will take up the query into alleged fraud in the state’s 9th district and beyond on Monday, Feb. 18, but the road to the Raleigh hearing has been long and winding.

On Nov. 30, the nine-member board of elections voted 7-2 in favor of withholding certification for the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready for the 9th district, as well as three local races.

The plan was to hold an evidentiary hearing before Christmas, with Dec. 21 set as the original deadline. However, when announcement was made scheduling the hearing, it was for Jan. 11.

On Dec. 28, the nine-member board was dissolved thanks to a court decision removing a stay that had granted the body an extension to see the investigation through. The same day, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of an elections bill that set up a new board of elections, and would require a new primary election in the 9th district, if a new election were called.

On Jan. 3, Mark Harris filed a petition with the Wake County Superior Court for a Writ of Mandamus, arguing that he had a right to a certificate of election.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway denied the Harris team’s request, saying the decision whether or not to certify was in the hands of the new state board.

In the days and weeks between these major events, more was learned about the central figures in the investigation — Leslie McCrae Dowless and Red Dome Group — and the years of political activity and nearly two dozen candidates connected with each.

At the hearing, attorneys for Harris and McCready are expected to call a combined list of 60 witnesses, with the NCSBE likely to call even more.

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