In an on-camera interview, a woman admitted to taking part in an election fraud scheme to benefit Republican Mark Harris' campaign.
A woman admitted to a reporter that she was a part of an election fraud scheme benefitting Republican nominee Mark Harris in a North Carolina House race.
"I was helping [Republican political operative] McCrae pick up ballots," she said, and told the reporter she was paid between $75 to $100 per week to pick up absentee ballots.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections has twice declined to certify election results that show a narrow 905-vote victory for Harris over Democrat Dan McCready in the state's 9th Congressional District.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who will be House majority leader when the new Congress is sworn in, told reporters the House should hold off on swearing in Harris until questions about the race are resolved.
There are serious concerns about voting irregularities in the race, particularly allegations that absentee ballots were either thrown away or fraudulently filled in, benefitting the Republican.
Picking up ballots in this manner, which is also known as "harvesting," is a crime in North Carolina.
Harris won 61 percent of the absentee ballots that were submitted in the election from Bladen County. Curiously, only 19 percent of those ballots came from registered Republicans.
The county also had the highest rate of absentee ballot requests in the state, according to the New York Times. In Bladen County, 7.5 percent of voters made absentee requests, while less than 3 percent of voters did the same in most of the rest of the state.
Forty percent of the requested ballots in Bladen County were not returned, nor were 62 percent of the ballots in neighboring Robeson County. By contrast, no other county in the state had a higher rate than 27 percent of unreturned ballots, the New York Times reported.
Political operative L. McCrae Dowless Jr. was hired as a contractor by consultants working for the Harris campaign.
In an affidavit submitted to authorities as part of the dispute, a resident of the 9th District said Dowless was rumored to be in line for a $40,000 bonus if Harris won the race.
In an interview with local television station WSOC, Ginger Eason admitted to being one of the "harvesters" in question, saying she was "helping McCrae pick up ballots" for $75 to $100 a week.
She said that after taking ballots from voters, she did not put them in the mail. Instead, she delivered them to Dowless.
"I don't know nothing what happened after I dropped them off," she explained.
This is a stunning admission in the #NC09 election controversy by @wsoctv’s @JoeBrunoWSOC9 on what one of the “harvesters” did with the absentee by mail ballots she picked up: #ncpol pic.twitter.com/NtcmJOVnpE
— Michael Bitzer (@BowTiePolitics) December 3, 2018
Dowless is a convicted felon who served six months in prison in the 1990s for felony fraud and has also been indicted for perjury.
He has also been involved in other schemes to illegally collect unreturned absentee ballots in North Carolina.
Despite repeated fear-mongering about supposedly fraudulent election results and making stories up about elections being rigged, prominent Republicans like Trump and Mike Pence have not commented publicly on the North Carolina race.
When their own Republican Party is implicated in election fraud, both men have gone silent.
The party is holding on to seats in the House for dear life after a Democratic wave of voters removed the majority. Now one more seat sits in the balance, and it looks like Republicans got caught trying to steal it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.