Wow: North Carolina Republican at center of election fraud investigation calls for new election
Wow. Republican Mark Harris, who’s at the center of an investigation into whether he benefitted from an illegal absentee ballot scheme in his race last year for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, just called for a new election to be held:
WOW@MarkHarrisNC9: “I believe a new election should be called.”Harris says he’s had two strokes in recent months and has been undergoing medical treatment, says he stills struggles with memory recall
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) February 21, 2019
The North Carolina State Board of Elections is in the midst of the fourth day of hearings on the tainted election, and those proceedings have gone very poorly for Harris. On Wednesday, his own son testified that he’d warned Harris about McCrae Dowless, the operative accused of masterminding the illegal absentee ballot harvesting operation on behalf of Harris’ campaign.
Then on Thursday, board members were furious to find out that Harris’ team had failed to produce relevant documents pursuant to their subpoena, including one message in which Harris specifically asked a friend to connect him to Dowless because he was “the guy whose absentee ballot project … could have put me in the US House this term.”
In his own testimony before the board on Thursday, Harris sought to throw his son under the bus, saying, “I’m his dad, and I know he’s a little judgmental, and has a little taste of arrogance.” He also professed a shocking ignorance of basic campaign finance laws: He initially paid Dowless through an “independent expenditure PAC” (often known as a “super PAC”), but said he was not aware that congressional campaigns are not permitted to coordinate their activities with such PACs.
Democrats, including Harris’ 2018 opponent, Dan McCready, have long called for the board to order a new election should investigators substantiate the widespread charges of election fraud. The careful case they’ve laid out in four days of hearings makes that conclusion inescapable. North Carolina Republicans had demanded that Harris be seated, but with Harris himself saying a new election should be called, it’s hard to see how the board could do anything but order the election.
Breaking news: The North Carolina board of elections called for a new election in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district after examining evidence of absentee ballot fraud on behalf of GOP candidate. The vote was unanimous.
— Sam Levine (@srl) February 21, 2019