GOP's election fraud forces do-over for North Carolina House seat

1427

Republican Mark Harris acknowledged the election he 'won' is tainted by election fraud — and now North Carolina will be holding a new election.

After four days of testimony, the North Carolina Board of Elections voted unanimously Thursday to call for a new election after overwhelming evidence showed massive election fraud carried out by the campaign of Republican Mark Harris.

Harris admitted earlier in the day that the results of the election were too tainted by the evidence of fraud and that voters deserve a new election.

"I believe a new election should be called," Harris told the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCBOE) on Thursday. "It's become clear to me that the public's confidence in the Ninth District's general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted." The New York Times reported "audible gasps" from the hearing room as Harris made this statement.

The admission came as the elections board was looking into election fraud carried out by the Harris campaign in the 2018 midterms. Harris "won" the election by roughly 900 votes, but serious inconsistencies were soon discovered. In the course of an investigation, it came to light that the Harris campaign sought out and hired a known election fraudster to run a crooked "absentee ballot project."

The shocking evidence of Harris' involvement in the scheme came from the Republican's own son, who testified Wednesday that he had warned his father about consultant McCrae Dowless' long history of election fraud.

The call for a new election is a stark flip-flop for Harris, who in December demanded to be seated in the House of Representatives despite the allegations of election fraud surrounding his campaign.

In calling for a new election, the Times note Harris is effectively admitting that his "win" is tainted by the evidence that his campaign tried to steal the election. According to previous testimony, Harris financed a scheme to collect absentee ballots, and in some cases fill in the ballots for Harris. Both collecting the ballots, and filling them in, are illegal.

After the elections board members made their decision, North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin issued a statement saying, "This saga could only have ended in a new election, and we look forward to repairing the harm dealt by Republicans and giving the people of the Ninth district the representative they deserve."

At this point, it is unclear if Harris will seek to be the Republican nominee again. As reporter Ally Mutnick notes, this will be first "redo congressional election" in more than 40 years.

Published with permission of The American Independent.