North Carolina GOP open to new election

The executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party says he supports a new election if allegations of fraud in the 9th Congressional District race are proven true and it impacted the outcome of the race. CNN's Drew Griffin reports.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 5:32 AM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 5:59 AM

A CNN review of absentee ballot envelopes has found irregularities with witness signatures in a second North Carolina county.

Dozens of absentee ballots were witnessed by four people in Robeson County, which is adjacent to Bladen County -- the place investigations by the state elections board and state and local prosecutors had been focused.

The people who witnessed multiple ballots are loosely connected to Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative who is being investigated for alleged election fraud.

RELATED: North Carolina GOP director open to new election in disputed House race

North Carolina law requires two witnesses to sign the envelopes of the absentee ballots. Usually, those witnesses are family members or friends. Investigators in North Carolina are looking into allegations that Dowless' group picked up unsealed ballots and either witnessed them and turned them in or threw them away.

One of them, Jennifer Boyd, signed 57 ballot envelopes, nearly 9% of all the absentee ballots that were cast in Robeson County. Another woman, Lisa Britt, who signed 28 of the Robeson ballots, also witnessed 42 ballots in Bladen County. Britt is the daughter of Dowless' ex-wife.

Unlike in Bladen County, Democrat Dan McCready won more of the absentee vote in Robeson County than Republican Mark Harris did.

North Carolina's 9th District race is the only undecided House race of 2018's midterm elections. Harris leads by 905 votes, but the state's elections board refused to certify the results after allegations of absentee ballot irregularities emerged.

Dowless, 62, is a veteran political operative in Bladen County with a criminal history. He pleaded guilty to felony insurance fraud in 1992. He has not returned CNN's requests for comment. He has denied any wrongdoing to The Charlotte Observer.

Campaign finance records show Dowless has been paid more than $23,000 by six campaigns over the last eight years -- and in most of those races, his candidates got disproportionately large numbers of absentee votes in Bladen County.

Harris' campaign paid the GOP consulting firm Red Dome Group more than $400,000 during the 2018 campaign -- and Red Dome Group paid Dowless.

Dowless was also paid $940 by the Bladen County GOP this year that they said was for get-out-the-vote efforts.

McCready had conceded to Harris, but on Thursday he withdrew his concession.

"Over the last week, we have seen the criminal activity come to light, and we have seen that my opponent, Mark Harris, has bankrolled this criminal activity," McCready told North Carolina's WSOC-TV. "And so as of today, I am withdrawing my concession to Mark Harris. And furthermore, I call on Mark Harris to tell the American people exactly what he knew and when he knew it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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