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North Carolina's elections director says a Republican operative conducted an illegal and well-funded ballot-harvesting operation during 2018 elections.
State elections director Kim Strach's testimony came during a hearing into whether mail-in ballots were tampered with a in the race for the state's 9th congressional district seat last year.
Election - Republican - Mark - Harris - Democrat
The election saw Republican Mark Harris narrowly defeat Democrat Dan McCready.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Republican operative, who last year rounded up votes for a GOP candidate running for Congress, conducted an illegal and well-funded ballot-harvesting operation, North Carolina's elections director said on Monday.
Director - Testimony - Day - Hearing - Ballots
The director's testimony came on the first day of a hearing into whether mail-in ballots were tampered with a in race for the state's 9th congressional district seat that saw Republican Mark Harris narrowly defeat Democrat Dan McCready.
The race wasn't certified, leaving the country's only congressional election without a declared winner. The elections board is expected to either declare a winner or order a new election after the hearing.
Evidence - Today - Absentee - Ballot - Scheme
"The evidence that we will provide today will show that a coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme operated in the 2018 general election" in rural Bladen and Robeson counties, which are part of North Carolina's 9th congressional district, state elections director Kim Strach said at the start of a state elections board hearing.
Harris held a slim lead over Democrat Dan McCready in unofficial results following November's election, but the state elections board refused to certify the contest after allegations of potential ballot manipulation surfaced.
Investigation - Operative - Harris - Campaign - Leslie
An investigation targeted a political operative working for Harris' campaign named Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr . He paid local people he recruited $125 for every 50 mail-in ballots they collected in Bladen and Robeson counties and turned in to him, Strach said. That means they could have been altered before being counted.
The operation's scope allowed Dowless to collect...
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