RALEIGH, N.C. --The first day of testimony wrapped up in the case of potential election fraud in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District race.
As the investigation into possible election fraud continues in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, we've compiled our coverage on it here.
The State Board of Elections has been investigating this race between Harris and McCready for over two months, and now has to determine whether or not to certify the race or call for a new election.
Republican candidate Mark Harris holds a narrow lead against his challenger Democrat Dan McCready by just 905 votes. The Board of Elections will be listening for evidence to decide if mail-in ballots were altered in Bladen County to sway the outcome of the race.
In testimony Monday, the State Board of Elections says there was an unlawful, coordinated absentee ballot scheme in the 9th Congressional District race.
They immediately laid out how they believe ballots were collected illegally in the race by political operative McCrae Dowless, how money was paid illegally, and how efforts were made to obstruct the investigation and testimony at Monday's hearing.
The staff and investigators said Monday they can now show evidence that McCrae Dowless and the people he paid did the following:
- Prepared request forms to pre-fill the absentee request form
- Obtained ballots collected by workers in exchange for payment
- Held absentee ballots at his home or at his office
- Instructed workers to falsely sign as witnesses.
Additionally, investigators say efforts were made to obstruct the investigation as well as testimony provided at this hearing including the statement that the first witness, Lisa Britt, says Dowless gave her just last week to read at this hearing:
"I can tell you I have not done anything wrong in this election and McRae Dowless has never told me to do anything wrong."
Britt was one of the people hired to register people to vote and collect absentee ballots. She says now she realizes what she was doing was wrong.
The State Board is also raising questions about Red Dome Group, who hired McCrae Dowless on Mark Harris' behalf.
Late on Monday, Dowless was called to testify but said he would only do so if granted immunity. The board did not grant immunity, and Dowless ultimately refused to voluntarily testify.
It is unclear whether or not Andy Yates, co-founder of Red Dome Group, will testify at this hearing.
The District 9 seat, which stretches from Charlotte along the South Carolina border to Bladen County, remained vacant since January.
Testimony is expected to continue throughout the day in into at least Tuesday.
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