Khorri Atkinson at Axios:
An unfolding investigation by election officials into allegations of "concerted fraudulent" absentee mail-in ballots in North Carolina has roiled one of the country’s last unresolved midterm House races, increasing the possibility that a new contest could be ordered.
The big picture: The allegations leveled against the campaign of Republican Mark Harris, who holds an unofficial 905-vote lead over his Democratic opponent Dan McCready, run counter to the baseless claims of rampant voter fraud by Democrats often trumpeted by President Trump and other Republican officials.Harry Enten at CNN:
What we know: The investigation by the North Carolina Board of Elections comes after it declined not to certify results for the 9th congressional district race last month, citing "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee by-mail ballots."
- Leslie McCrae Dowless, who worked for Harris' campaign as a contractor, is reportedly at the center of the probe. He has been accused of collecting and filling out hundreds of voters’ absentee ballots — illegal in a state that mandates all absentee ballot envelopes must be signed by two witnesses and dropped off by voters or their close relatives.
- Reports from WSOC and Popular Information revealed an unusual number of returned ballots in Bladen County signed by the same witnesses. One woman who signed 28 ballots as a witness told WSOC that Dowless paid her $75 to $100 a week to pick up absentee ballots. She said he didn’t inform her the practice was illegal.
- Dowless has denied any wrongdoing, though the AP reports that Bladen's elections board has recorded that he submitted over 500 ballots.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics last week voted against certifying Republican Mark Harris' 905 vote win over Democrat Dan McCready in the state's 9th Congressional District.
In the days since, allegations of election fraud involving absentee mail-in ballots have been made public.
The case for election fraud appears to be strong. That's because it's doesn't rely on just one or two pieces of evidence. Rather, it's a slew of evidence. This means that even if one part of the case were to fall apart, there would be still be reason to believe that the election wasn't on the level.