Republicans had warnings of vote fraud before North Carolina election

North Carolina candidate paid $428k to consulting firm linked to alleged ballot tampering

State officials investigate potential election fraud in North Carolina; emergency hearing possible

The state elections board refused to certify the results, citing "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee mail ballots", according to Joshua Malcolm, who was bumped from the board's vice chair to its chairman by Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, on Monday.

Republican state senators in North Carolina on Thursday demanded a new bipartisan investigation into fraud allegations, casting doubt on the impartiality of the election board.

The state elections board plans to hold a hearing later this month and could order a new election. And the fact that Harris managed to win a whopping 96% of all Bladen County absentee ballots that actually made it to election officials is a big red flag, too.

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North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse texted a statement to The Associated Press saying that the GOP would back a new election if the state's elections board were to show that absentee ballot issues changed the outcome of the 9th Congressional District race. But we do know enough. He added that more than 750,000 people would be without representation when Congress seated in January as a result. As my colleague Eric Levitz describes, local and national news outlets continue to uncover evidence of electoral fraud committed by an operative hired by Harris's campaign. Until yesterday, the focus on illegal activity involved just the collection of ballots, more so than the high non-return rates from the counties Dowless worked on behalf of the Mark Harris campaign. But investigators are probing whether some absentee ballots were altered by Dowless and a loosely connected group working with him or collected from voters but never turned in.

Lorrin Freeman, Wake County's district attorney, also has opened a probe, Gannon said.

In Bladen, 19 percent of absentee ballots counted were cast by Republicans.

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Harris may not be the only Republican to have benefited from Dowless's work, either. According to a new report by the Washington Post, the state Republican Party may have had advance warning this was going on, following a complaint by GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger after he unexpectedly lost his primary, and they did nothing. As I noted yesterday, the Constitution and the Federal Contested Elections Act of 1969 gives the House a range of options in dealing with such a challenge, including ordering a new election or just flat-out certifying McCready as the victor and seating him instead of Harris. The employees who worked for Dowless in Bladen County also served as witnesses for an unusually high number of voters. It's not about the one House seat, it's about the "integrity of elections", she said.

Voting restrictions became the central issue in Georgia's close gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, with Abrams accusing Kemp of abusing his office to cement his party's hold on power.

The allegations of election fraud in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District are now supported by a devastating amount of evidence.

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