Even in the face of clear evidence of election fraud in North Carolina, Republicans have been mostly silent. Except, that is, when they can try to use the misdeeds of their candidate, Mark Harris, to somehow blame Democrats.
You'd think that when there was finally an instance of large-scale election fraud, Republicans would be the first to react. They've been banging the drum on this issue forever, most recently with Trump's laughably ineffective — and dearly departed — voter suppression commission.
But when faced with the Mark Harris race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, where clear evidence of widespread alteration of votes exists, likely at the level that changed the outcome of an election, the GOP has been largely silent.
Sure, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), issued a vaguely worded semi-condemnation that sought to, of course, attack Democrats instead.
Voter fraud is never acceptable and neither is ballot harvesting. We call on Democrats to join Republicans in rejecting the practice of ballot harvesting in every congressional district in the country. States that do not have laws against ballot harvesting are more susceptible to voter fraud and as Washington Democrats have said, ‘No American should have to wonder whether the vote they cast is counted and counted fairly.'
Emmer's statement is about tapping into conservatives' unhappiness over the absolute decimation of the California GOP in the 2018 midterms. California allows for what conservatives derisively term "ballot harvesting." It sounds nefarious, but all it means is that if you are voting by mail in that state, you can designate whomever you'd like to drop your ballot off. The California law contains a number of regulations and penalties should people try to engage in a large-scale, cash-driven fraud scheme like McCrae Dowless did for Harris in North Carolina.
Trump had a typically incoherent answer when he was asked about the issue last week, largely dodging the issue to complain about "what's happened in California with the votes," and to vaguely cite "a case where they found a million fraudulent votes." But as to North Carolina, he demanded he see a "final report" before passing judgment, even though the final report, such as it is, already exists: There's going to be a new election. Trump's real goal, of course, is to muddy the waters and to use North Carolina's clear-cut election fraud to somehow insist that any election where he didn't like the outcome is stolen.
Though the GOP seem to be putting forward a brave and belligerent face for the public eye, behind the scenes, it sounds like things may not be going so great for Harris. The right-leaning Washington Times is reporting that, as Harris reaches out to state and local Republicans, he's getting a "clear message" that he should definitely not be running again.
The GOP is right about one thing: Harris really shouldn't be running. Given the clear evidence Harris ignored the warnings about Dowless and chose to work with a convicted felon to alter the course of an election, it seems unfair to reward Harris with another bite at the apple.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.