In North Carolina, journalists have revealed evidence of possible election fraud committed by operatives working for a consulting firm hired by Republican candidate Mark Harris in the ninth congressional district.
At issue are reports that these paid political operatives in Bladen and Robeson counties collected absentee ballots from voters. That is illegal. Under North Carolina law, only the voter or the voter’s near relative is permitted to submit a completed absentee ballot to the county board of elections.
Absentee ballot requests from residents of these two counties were unusually high and the return rate of these same ballots was very low. Together, these two counties stand out for the number of voters who requested ballots and never voted. The discrepancy may have affected the outcome of this congressional election because, according to The New York Times, Democrat Dan McCready performed “an average of 30 points better in the mailed absentee votes than in votes cast in person.”
Election “results” were close – Harris led McCready by a mere 905 votes. If absentee ballots were mishandled, altered or destroyed by operatives working for the firm hired by Harris, it may have directly impacted the results of the election.
Adding to allegations of election fraud in the ninth district, new reports suggest that elections officials in Bladen County improperly revealed early vote totals before Election Day, and those totals may have been seen by unauthorized persons. If early voting totals made their way to a campaign, it could give one side an unfair advantage and affect how a campaign spends its resources going into Election Day, influencing the outcome of the race.
The North Carolina Board of Elections is currently investigating these deeply troubling allegations of election fraud. And a new election may be needed to ensure citizens’ confidence in the integrity of the results.
When you take responsibility to do your civic duty and vote, you want your vote to count. No campaign consulting firm should determine whose vote counts toward an election’s outcome. We need to strengthen our democracy, so every voice is heard.
The eyes of the nation are on North Carolina, and the state must do everything necessary to protect the rights of all voters.
Watch this space and the Common Cause North Carolina Twitter feed (@CommonCauseNC) for more on this ongoing story.