N.C. GOP says fresh misconduct allegation should trigger new House election




Mark Harris

The earlier allegations of election fraud that originally shook the race revolve around McCrae Dowless, an independent contractor working for Mark Harris’ campaign. | AP Photo/Chuck Burton

The North Carolina Republican Party said Tuesday that a new election should be held in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District if a new allegation regarding the leak of early-voting results before Election Day is proven.

The results of the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready have already been held up over allegations of election fraud against a contractor for one of Harris’ campaign consultants. But the state Democratic Party has highlighted another incident in the inquiry into the House race, releasing a signed affidavit from a Bladen County poll worker alleging that the results of early votes were shared improperly before the election.

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“On Saturday, 11/3/18, the last day of early voting, the ‘tape’ showing election results at the one-stop polling site was run after the polls closed, and was viewed by officials at the one-stop site who were not judges. It is my understanding that this was improper,” wrote Agnes Willis, a precinct worker in the state, in an affidavit dated Nov. 29, according to The Charlotte Observer.

North Carolina Republican Party chair Robin Hayes released a statement on Tuesday saying that if these allegations were true, they alone would be cause to hold a new election.

“This action by election officials would be a fundamental violation of the sense of fair play, honesty, and integrity that the Republican Party stands for,” he said in a statement. “We can never tolerate the state putting its thumb on the scale. The people involved in this must be held accountable and should it be true, this fact alone would likely require a new election.”

Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the state Republican party, said it was likely early votes were leaked.

“We’re almost sure those early vote totals were leaked out,” Woodhouse told POLITICO. “That’s where we are. The [state elections] board’s got to do whatever it does.”

The North Carolina Republican Party will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the race.

The earlier allegations of election fraud that originally shook the race revolve around McCrae Dowless, an independent contractor working for Harris’ campaign.

Dowless reportedly oversaw an operation that collected absentee ballots from voters before submitting them, which is against the law in the state. The activity also allegedly took place in Bladen County.

On Tuesday, the state Democratic Party called on Harris to answer questions regarding this scandal.

“Mark Harris is hiding behind his lawyers,” North Carolina Democratic Party chair Wayne Goodwin said in a press conference. “Mark Harris must answer to the voters about what he knew and when he knew it.”

On Monday, McCready said his campaign team was getting ready for a potential special election.

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