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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.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
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Madison138236
Jones117349
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Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
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Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
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Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
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Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
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Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
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