Political Editors / December 8, 2018

NC Republican Caught in Voter Fraud?

Suddenly, Democrats are interested in voter fraud. Funny how selective they can be.

In the congressional election for North Carolina’s ninth district, questions have begun to mount as to whether the declared winner, Republican Mark Harris, actually won legitimately. The election was close, with Harris defeating his Democrat opponent Dan McCready by 905 votes out of almost 300,000 cast. The day following the election, McCready conceded, but on Thursday he rescinded his concession, stating, “Over the last week, we have seen the criminal activity come to light, and we have seen that my opponent, Mark Harris, has bankrolled this criminal activity. And so, as of today, I am withdrawing my concession to Mark Harris.”

As for Harris, he said, “If this investigation finds proof of illegal activity on either side to such a level that it could have changed the outcome of the election, then I would wholeheartedly support a new election to ensure all voters have confidence in the results.”

The Washington Post reports, “North Carolina election officials are investigating whether an operative working on behalf of Harris illegally collected incomplete ballots from voters in the state’s 9th District.”

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has now opened up a hearing into the allegations and may decide to either certify the results or call for a new election. The problem is that the individual at the center of this allegation, Leslie McCrae Dowless, has been under scrutiny for illegal ballot harvesting during the 2016 election. And the latest news is that, according to the district attorney, more than 1,000 ballots may have been destroyed. In other words, things don’t look good for Harris.

While Republicans have long called for voter ID laws to help protect against voter fraud, if it is proven that Republicans in North Carolina engaged in fraud, then they are exposed as hypocrites. As David Thornton of The Resurgent points out, “The fact that Republicans appear to have paid for absentee votes and possibly discarded ballots containing votes for the Democratic candidate makes a mockery of the party’s planks calling for election security and voter verification. Republican efforts have concentrated on voter ID laws, but absentee ballots typically don’t require verification of identity.”

Either way, the message this should reinforce is that protections against voting fraud are indeed necessary, including voter ID, as well as looking into ways to better ensure there is no abuse of absentee ballots.

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