What did Republican nominee Mark Harris know, and when did he know it?
Harris directed the hiring of Leslie McCrae Dowless "despite warnings that the operative may have used questionable tactics to deliver votes," the Post reports.
And now, investigators will focus on whether Harris knew that his campaign operatives broke the law to help him win in the 9th Congressional District.
Harris led Democratic nominee Dan McCready by 905 votes, but officials refused to certify that result due to irregularities.
An ongoing investigation has already turned up evidence of potential election fraud on a scale large enough to change the outcome. The state board of elections has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 21 to discuss the investigation, and it has the power to call for a new election.
As the Post reports:
Witnesses in interviews and affidavits say Dowless's allegedly fraudulent operation on Harris’s behalf this year involved collecting incomplete and unsealed ballots, an illegal practice. Investigators are also examining whether Dowless or those working for him illegally discarded ballots.
A source told the Post that Dowless "spoke often of talking to Harris by telephone" during the 2018 campaign.
The criminal activity Republicans allegedly engaged in is so serious that federal investigators are involved.
Yet Trump, Pence, and other top Republicans — who spent years spreading lies about virtually non-existent voter fraud — remain silent as a nominee they endorsed and campaigned for faces a criminal investigation for election fraud.
For example, Trump made absurd allegations that voters can vote twice by voting, walk out to their car and putting on a disguise, and then returning to vote again. But that's not how voting works; no matter how you're dressed, registrars have to confirm that your name and address are in the system and that you haven't voted yet.
In-person voter fraud like this almost never happens, but it's the only kind Republicans talk about — and they use these lies to engage in massive voter suppression efforts that make it harder for certain populations (usually minorities and college students) to participate in democracy's most foundational right: voting.
In the Republican imagination, voters are the criminals when election results are fraudulent. But in the reality of North Carolina, the voters were the victims of election fraud.
In this case, Republicans are accused of destroying or altering ballots, seeking to erase the voices of voters who overcame the other hurdles Republicans already erected to silence them.
This fraud is yet another form of voter suppression — perpetuated by Republicans — and a disgraceful attempt to undermine democracy.
And now it seems that the rot goes all the way to the top, with a strong possibility that Mark Harris was personally involved in a plot to steal his own election.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.