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North Carolina GOP calls for new election as fraud evidence mounts in House race

The Republican candidate currently leads by 905 votes

Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris (Image source: MSNBC video screenshot)

The head of the North Carolina Republican Party and the Republican candidate for Congress in the state's 9th District both said the state should hold a new election if allegations of fraud and leaked early votes prove true, according to The Hill.

The election has not been certified by the state board of elections due to evidence of fraud involving absentee mail-in ballots in Bladen County.

"We can never tolerate the state putting its thumb on the scale," said North Carolina GOP chair Robin Hayes said in a statement Tuesday. "The people involved in this must be held accountable and should it be true, this fact alone would likely require a new election."

The latest revelation in the fraud investigation is that early votes were counted before election day and shown to people who were not election officials. The allegation comes via an affidavit from a Bladen County precinct worker.

What else is going on with the election? The issues with the election began when it was discovered that a group of people connected to a local political operative had been serving as witness to and collecting an abnormally large number of absentee mail-in votes, leading to concerns that the "ballot harvesting" scheme could've resulted in some absentee ballots not being turned in.

The operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, was working for Republican candidate Mark Harris, allegedly tasked with getting out the vote. However, witnesses allege that Dowless was in possession of hundreds of absentee ballots that didn't get turned in to election officials. In North Carolina, only a direct family member can turn in an absentee ballot for someone.

More than one person has confessed to being paid by Dowless to witness and collect absentee mail-in ballots.

What does Harris say about all this? Harris has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and said he will fully cooperate in any investigations, or support a new election if necessary.

"However, if this investigation finds proof of illegal activity on either side—to such a level that it could have changed the outcome of the election—then I would wholeheartedly support a new election to ensure all voters have confidence in the results," Harris said last week in a Twitter video.

Harris led after Election Day by 905 votes.

One last thing…
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