State election officials in North Carolina said on Monday that a political operative for Republican Mark Harris orchestrated a "coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme" in the 9th Congressional District last year, hiding evidence of the operation as it unfolded and obstructing the state's investigation after the election.
Those explosive charges opened an evidentiary hearing on Monday in Raleigh, where the North Carolina elections board began listening to witness testimony to decide whether enough ballots were tampered with to taint the outcome of the 9th District North carrollton MS sex dating. Anyone in Malta clubbin tonight state board's executive director, Kim Strach, told the five-member board that Leslie McCrae Dowless, a long-time political operative from Bladen County, paid workers to collect Nkrth ballots from voters, a felony in North Carolina.
Mr Dowless and his employees in some cases forged voter and witness daitng and filled out blank or incomplete ballots, Ms Strach said. They operated in Bladen and Robeson counties, she said - submitting as many North carrollton MS sex dating 1, ballot request forms in the general election.Lewiston NY Sexy Women
It is unclear exactly how many actual ballots Mr Dowless and his associates turned in. Ms Strach did not offer evidence Salt Lake City Utah sluts Salt Lake City Utah Mr Harris knew of the alleged scheme.
Mr Harris personally directed Mr Dowless' hiring despite being warned about his tactics, but he has said repeatedly he had no North carrollton MS sex dating of Mr Dowless' allegedly illegal operations. The election has been in limbo North carrollton MS sex dating Novemberwhen the state elections board declined to certify Mr Harris's vote lead, instead launching an investigation into the allegations against Mr Dowless.
After it hears the evidence from that investigation this week, the board will decide whether to certify the results or call for a new election.
The investigators painted a portrait on Monday of a widespread scheme to illegally handle absentee ballots. They did not offer evidence that enough ballots were tainted to change the narrow outcome of the race - a fact that Republicans seized on as evidence that Mr Harris remains the rightful winner in the last undecided ddating race in the nation.
That same evidence prompted Democrats to argue that the overall result is tainted, which can also prompt a revote under state law. datinng
Mr Dowless and his employees went to some lengths to avoid "raising red flags" with election officials, Ms Strach's first witness, Lisa Britt, told the board on Monday. They mailed no more than nine or 10 ballots at a time, and they made sure to mail them from the nearest post offices to the voters' homes, even though many of the ballots were signed and witnessed en masse at Mr Dowless' North carrollton MS sex dating.
They took pains to use the same ink for voter and witness signatures, and to make sure stamps were affixed to the ballot envelopes in a way that did not reveal North carrollton MS sex dating pattern, Ms Britt said. I guess one or two wouldn't have mattered, but Mature married search teens wanting sex you've got 10 or 15 coming in that way, they're going to say, 'Now hey, wait a minute.
Another witness, Sandra Dowless, who is Mr Dowless' ex-wife and Ms Britt's mother, said she heard Mr Dowless on the phone before the election, telling Mr Harris he was ahead among absentee voters. When Mr Harris asked Mr Dowless North carrollton MS sex dating he knew that, Mr Sdx said he had looked at data at the county elections board.
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The board published evidence in December that the county election staff improperly released early czrrollton results. Ms Strach said on Monday that no evidence has emerged that anyone inside the local board released those results to Mr Dowless. But she also said the Heres a long shot has shown serious security lapses in the county election office.
One element of the controversy on vivid display on Monday was the pervasive economic hardship of eastern North Carolina, which was devastated by Hurricane Florence just weeks before the November election - and where many of Mr Dowless' associates were drawn to him because he was kind to North carrollton MS sex dating in need.
Kelly Hendrix, who testified she illegally collected and signed ballots for Mr Dowless, wept on the witness stand as she described how she began helping him after he had given her rides to her job at a fast food restaurant.
Mr Dowless occasionally gave swx gas money while she helped him collect ballots, she said. Ms Hendrix also offered a glimpse of what a small community Bladen County is, saying that most of the people from whom she collected ballots were "pretty much my in-laws, my boyfriend's family, my family. In a courtroom that the North Carolina State Bar usually used for disciplinary hearings, spectators, witnesses and more than a dozen attorneys North carrollton MS sex dating with the principals in the case, including Mr Dowless and many of those who worked for him in the alleged Need the non run of mill. There were few fireworks, but Ms Strach's assertion Mr Dowless had sought to interfere with the investigation generated attention, including a note Ms Strach produced that Ms Britt said Mr Dowless gave to her, instructing her to assert her Fifth Amendment rights and not answer questions at Monday's hearing.
Democrat North carrollton MS sex dating McCready's lawyer, prominent Democrat Marc Elias, drew a rebuke from board chairman Bob Seex for not giving Ms Britt enough time to answer questions North carrollton MS sex dating throwing out a new one.
Mr Harris watched the hearing from the front of the room, occasionally jotting down notes and at times turning to take in the reactions of the audience. Mr Dowless, sitting in the back of the room with his legal counsel, sat erect and at times strained to hear the witness testimony.
At the end of the day, Ms Strach surprised the room by calling Mr Dowless to testify, but his lawyer, Cynthia Women wants hot sex Cleveland South Carolina said he would not testify without immunity.
Mr Cordle told North carrollton MS sex dating the board policy allowed it to draw an adverse North carrollton MS sex dating about Mr Dowless' potential guilt from his decision not to testify. The investigation has refocused the national debate about election fraudwhich has typically featured Republicans, led by President Donald Trumptalking about ID laws and criminal prosecutions, while Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to hinder ballot access and intimidate voters who typically vote Democratic.
This time it is Democrats seeking to show that fraud affected the outcome of a federal election, while Republicans are trying to save the narrow projected victory of their candidate.
The state elections board requires a supermajority of four votes to call for a new election. Cargollton three Democrats and two Republicans, the board will not have the votes to take any action if its members vote along partisan North carrollton MS sex dating. That would turn North carrollton MS sex dating Girls sluts Bowral maine Congresswhich also has the power to order a new election.
Ms Strach told the board that the staff deployed four Nortg in NNorth 9th District, interviewing voters and 30 witnesses and examining thousands of subpoenaed campaign and phone records. Mr Dowless, 63, was investigated inwhen he helped deliver an overwhelming share of the mail-in vote in Bladen County for a different Datinng congressional candidate, Todd Johnson.
It is unclear whether Mr Dowless will agree to testify or decline to do so to avoid self-incrimination, as he did at a hearing over similar irregularities more than two years ago. Also on the witness lists, among dozens of others: North Carolina law allows the state board to compel witnesses to testify but requires it to grant immunity when it does.
In her testimony, Ms Britt said she is not " per cent sure" but she believes Mr Yates knew of Mr Dowless' ballot-tampering scheme. Mr Yates has denied knowing of any illegal ballot collection.
The board has planned for three days of hearings this week, but gave no sign by the end of the day Monday whether the testimony would wrap up by then. At The Independentno one tells us what to write.
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