North Carolina congressional candidate withdraws concession

North Carolina congressional candidate withdraws concession

In North Carolina, election officials are investigating whether Republican political operatives in parts of the 9th Congressional District harvested ballots from minority voters and didn't deliver them to the election offices. Another woman, Lisa Britt, who signed 28 of the Robeson ballots, also witnessed 42 ballots in Bladen County. The sick irony of the emerging scandal in North Carolina is that if GOP election fraud is indeed proved to have taken place, Republicans will soon have the evidence they lacked for so long.

The 9th Congressional District has been represented by a Republican in Washington for more than five decades. Hours later, the Washington Post reported that Robert Pittenger, the Republican incumbent Harris defeated in May, had noticed irregularities in the primary results and notified GOP officials at the time.

Freeman told CNN she opened the investigation this February based on information forwarded by the state elections board.

"Which is an extreme burden on the county's residents", Stone said.

"What we know is the people down in Bladen County are scoundrels".

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State elections board documents show Dowless collected the most absentee ballot requests in Bladen County.

Investigators have spoken with witnesses who link Dowless to an effort to collect absentee ballots from voters and are examining whether he or his associates filled out ballots or discarded them, according to people familiar with the probe. She indicated she helped 52 of them fill out their ballots. Last night, Griffin reported that the ballot harvesting allegedly conducted by Dowless may have also involved the destruction of more than a thousand ballots.

The rout included several seats that had been held by Republicans in the former GOP stronghold of Orange County, where more than 250,000 mail-in ballots were turned in on Election Day.

Two years ago, North Carolina Republican Pat McCrory refused for a month to concede he'd lost his gubernatorial re-election race, claiming to be a victim of the kind of massive fraud by voters that his party had warned about for years.

"That investigation is ongoing and encompasses now those 2016 and 2018 election cycles and focuses on what appear to be absentee ballot irregularities", Freeman said. Board members can call for a new election if they find enough problems that could have altered the outcome or cast doubts on the election's fairness. Usually, those witnesses are family members or friends and ballots are not supposed to be handled by a third party.

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On Monday, Woodhouse appeared to be firmly opposed to the idea of holding a new election, arguing on Twitter that no law allows for an election to be declared "null and void for irregularities that can't be proven to possibly change the outcome". Harris won 61 percent of the mail-in ballots there, even though registered Republicans accounted for 19 percent of the county's accepted absentee ballots. Were all of the ballots that people voted submitted?

Dowless, who told the Charlotte Observer that he did not commit any wrongdoing, declined to comment Thursday. Harris said last week that his victory should be finalized while the board investigated.

It's not clear when the North Carolina Board of Elections will take another step in the Harris-McCready election. They say restricting who can collect ballots punishes certain voters without doing anything to actually detect, deter or punish fraud.

But he said there was "a lot of angst" among his campaign aides, who "were all upset about what happened".

"While the Republican majority is once again chasing conspiracies, real election fraud is playing out right before us in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District", Connolly said in a statement.

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