A woman said Monday that a Bladen County, N.C., Republican election official paid her to illegally collect absentee ballots from the November 6 midterm elections.
Absentee ballot witness Ginger Eason told WSOCTV, a local news station in Charlotte, that the official, McCrae Dowless, paid her between $75 and $100 to take completed absentee ballots from the voters. She said she took the ballots and then never mailed them, depriving the individuals of their legal right to vote in the election.
The illegal taking of absentee ballots from voters in North Carolina‘s 9th Congressional District is now officially being investigated. Also, the results of the election have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
“I was helping McCrae pick up ballots,” Eason said to WSOCTV. McCrae Dowless is the Bladen County supervisor whose actions are at the center of the probe into election law violations.
Eason maintains that she did not see who people voted for on the ballots she collected. She also admitted that she never mailed the ballots. Instead, she gave them to Dowless, who did not tell her that what she was doing was illegal.
Dowless has been named twice in sworn affidavits as someone who worked for Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris’s campaign against Democrat Dan McCready. At the time the results of their race was decertified Harris had 139,246 votes compared to 138,341 votes for McCready, for a lead of 905 votes.
When asked by news reporters about paying people to pick up ballots, Dowless said that he had no comment.
WSOCTV said that it conducted its own investigation and has found what they have concluded to be a targeted effort to illegally pick up ballots in Bladen County.
The station reported that it consistently found the same people signing as witnesses for the people voting, which is very unusual and evidence of improper procedures in getting ballots completed. Eason himself was listed as signing as a witness for 28 submitted and accepted absentee ballot envelopes.
McCready conceded to Harris and said he would not request a recount even though he could legally do so.
The county elections board elected to decertify the results, however, citing “claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities related to absentee by-mail voting.”
Bladen County has received increased attention stemming from voter affidavits that allege that people they didn’t know came to their homes and asked to be given their absentee ballots.
Election officials have also been investigating the unusually large numbers of absentee ballots that were submitted in Bladen County in this year’s election.
North Carolina’s state elections board chairman, Andy Penry, resigned on Saturday, saying that he won’t allow himself to be used as an “instrument of distraction.”
House expert Dave Wasserman from the Cook Political Report tweeted:
“No longer any reasonable doubt as to absentee fraud perpetrated by pro-Harris forces in
#NC09 in both primary and general. Now questions are: how widespread and who knew?”
This means that despite Republicans claiming widespread voter fraud in the United States, it is actually them who perpetrate voter fraud. Add this to the list of other ways they cheat in elections, such as gerrymandering and voter suppression, and you can see that the Grand Old Party does not want our country to be a democracy. Instead, their goal is to disenfranchise any citizen who does not support them, and this should be illegal.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.
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