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NC race unresolved amid fraud allegations

As North Carolina officials investigate allegations that absentee ballots were tampered with in a razor-tight congressional race, a review of some of those ballots revealed many were signed by the same small group of people -- some of whom are connected to a long-time operative working for the Republican candidate's campaign.

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 7:31 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 7:31 PM

What a pathetic moment.

Republicans have spent years warning us that voter fraud is rampant. Despite no evidence that this is the case -- election fraud in the United States is in fact rare -- the GOP has put legislation into place in states across the country to make it harder to vote, arguing that it's necessary to protect the sanctity of elections.

They take voter fraud seriously, they say. It's become one of their core issues.

So we would expect that, faced with a rare case of potentially serious and pervasive electoral fraud, they would jump on it -- insist on an investigation, figure out exactly what happened, punish wrongdoers and close whatever holes in the system led to the abuses.

There are indeed serious allegations of election fraud tied to North Carolina's midterm elections right now in a congressional district where results appear abnormal. But instead of insisting on investigating, Republicans are waving it away and insisting there's nothing to see.

Why the sudden about-face on this allegedly serious crime? Because the Republican candidate, Mark Harris won -- by 905 votes -- and may have benefited from the alleged fraud. And of course the GOP position was never about protecting our democracy at all. It was about suppressing votes for Democrats and giving themselves an unfair advantage.

Citing "numerous irregularities," including a number of voters complaining of abnormal activity in the lead-up to the election, the state's Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement has refused to certify the 9th Congressional District's election results, even though Harris has already claimed victory.

Many voters were allegedly told by door-to-door canvassers that their registrations had been dropped and they should request an absentee ballot. Other voters said a woman collected their ballots improperly, unsealed, and carried them away -- in at least one case allegedly offering to finish filling a ballot in for a voter -- against vote-tampering laws. In two counties, Harris won a strangely large margin of absentee ballot votes. Only 19% of absentee ballots were submitted by registered Republicans in Bladen County, one of the counties at issue, but the Republican candidate won 61% of the absentee ballot votes.

This is, obviously, extremely improbable. Bladen was the only county where a Republican won a majority of mail-in absentee voters. The Republican response? This didn't happen, and even if it did, it doesn't matter. The North Carolina Republican Party has threatened to sue if the results, giving Harris victory, are not certified.

North Carolina's case has laid bare a fundamental and shameful problem.

There is much Republicans and Democrats can disagree on in good faith, but the foundation of our democracy shouldn't be one of those things. In a representative democracy, the vote is in fact sacred; it is what makes our electoral system work. When we have information that points to a possible perversion of this system, we should follow it.

But that is not what Republican efforts to supposedly protect against voter fraud have ever been about. They have unerringly targeted communities of color (in which citizens tend to vote for Democrats) and tried to make it harder for them to vote. Racism's long history in the United States is exactly what the Voting Rights Act -- recently gutted by the Supreme Court under the fiction that racism in America is behind us -- was intended to protect against.

In fact, North Carolina was home to one of the ugliest of those voter suppression laws, a 2013 bill so transparently discriminatory that a judge on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was written to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision" -- before striking it down in 2016.

North Carolina, then, tells us a lot about just how representational and democratic these Republicans really want our system to be. The sad reality is that they want to stoke fears of voter fraud to make it harder for black people to vote while happily ignoring credible accusations of electoral fraud when the alleged fraud works to their benefit.

They're showing us who they are: not patriots, but craven opportunists, ready to undermine democracy itself to maintain their grip on power.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30900

Reported Deaths: 1111
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds249840
DeSoto159416
Madison130034
Jones112449
Neshoba98871
Rankin93412
Harrison91211
Lauderdale90979
Forrest86942
Scott77115
Jackson62216
Copiah60215
Washington5849
Leake57819
Holmes55341
Lee54718
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51518
Yazoo5096
Leflore48751
Grenada4835
Lowndes48313
Lincoln46034
Lamar4587
Pike43112
Monroe40130
Lafayette3914
Sunflower3727
Attala36023
Covington3565
Panola3506
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Simpson3173
Adams31118
Pontotoc2866
Tate28310
Marion28111
Chickasaw27718
Claiborne27410
Noxubee2638
Jasper2626
Winston2616
Pearl River25432
Clay25010
Marshall2323
Smith21811
Clarke20724
Union2079
Coahoma2016
Walthall1995
Kemper17914
Lawrence1772
Yalobusha1707
Carroll16511
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1322
Calhoun1304
Tippah13011
Hancock12813
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George883
Tishomingo801
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn692
Perry664
Stone651
Franklin452
Sharkey370
Benton360
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 44375

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5221152
Montgomery4127103
Mobile4080134
Tuscaloosa228842
Marshall171110
Madison14307
Lee138437
Shelby128423
Morgan11025
Walker93924
Elmore92514
Franklin89514
Dallas8809
Baldwin8649
Etowah73913
DeKalb7195
Butler63328
Chambers62927
Autauga60712
Tallapoosa59169
Russell5520
Unassigned50323
Houston4964
Limestone4950
Lauderdale4906
Lowndes47221
Cullman4524
Pike4295
Colbert3956
St. Clair3822
Coffee3772
Bullock36910
Covington3587
Calhoun3545
Escambia3506
Barbour3492
Hale31121
Talladega3097
Marengo30211
Wilcox2918
Dale2880
Sumter28512
Clarke2746
Jackson2732
Winston2583
Chilton2462
Blount2351
Monroe2352
Pickens2356
Marion22413
Conecuh2097
Randolph2069
Choctaw19512
Macon1949
Bibb1901
Greene1868
Perry1771
Henry1343
Crenshaw1253
Washington1097
Lawrence1080
Cherokee977
Geneva800
Lamar771
Fayette701
Clay652
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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