Voting Fraud Questions in North Carolina’s 9 Congressional District: Republican Representative Elect Edition

It appears something squirrelly may have been afoot during both the Republican primary and the general election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Michael McDonald, a specialist on voting from the University of Florida’s Department of Political Science (my former professional home), kicks things off for us:

WSOC TV Channel 9’s Joe Bruno picks up the thread for us. His article/reporting is first and then a hunber of his tweets with images of the affidavits he’s collected.

BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. – Channel 9 has obtained several affidavits out of Bladen County, North Carolina, voicing concerns about how the U.S. House District 9 race in November was handled.

Witnesses who signed the affidavits claimed a known player in the county’s political circles and an electioneer was also working for the Mark Harris campaign.

One of those sworn affidavits claims that man, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., would receive a $40,000 bonus from the Harris campaign if Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready.

Another affidavit said Dowless was “doing absentee” for Harris. The document claims Dowless said, “You know I don’t take checks. They have to pay me cash.”

Another affidavit points to workers going to voters’ doors to collect absentee ballots. One voter said a worker told her she would finish the voter’s ballot for her. Both acts would be illegal.

North Carolina’s Elections Board delayed finalizing the results Tuesday of the close U.S. House race, as officials appear to be scrutinizing potential wrongdoing within the 9th Congressional District.

Board members voted unanimously to certify the final tallies in nearly all of the elections held earlier this month but didn’t sign off on the 9th District, as well as a handful of other races subject to protests or recounts.

More at the link! Affidavits below the jump.

So what does this all mean, McDonald has a few thoughts on that:

It’ll be interesting to see what both the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the House of Representatives do as a result of all this. I would expect that if neither the county nor state board of elections will certify the results, that the House will not seat Representative-elect Harris until this is resolved. I would also expect that Congressman Pittinger would file suit seeking relief on the basis that the primary was stolen from him because of the theft of absentee ballots by Harris’s campaign. And that McCready, who lost the general election to Harris might do something similar. So it is possible that the Democrats have actually picked up 41 seats. Or that a new election will have to happen for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. The only thing I know for sure is that Dallas Woodhouse, the scumbag who runs the North Carolina GOP will be all over TV and radio doing his normal dog and pony show and pulling his usual shenanigans.

Open thread.



92 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    We need Jimmy Carter or maybe the U.N. overseeing these elections.

  2. 2
    hells littlest angel says:

    Have any Republicans yet claimed this is proof of the need for voter ID?

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Well well well….
    Crooked crooked Republican…
    Not shocked😒😒

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Burnspbesq says:

    Jesus. This is mind-boggling.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    The Trump administration is taking bold action to combat the evil of human trafficking By Ivanka Trump

    Wapo, have you no shame?

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General has closed two probes into Scott Pruitt’s conduct when he was EPA chief without reaching any conclusions because he resigned as administrator before he could be interviewed, according to a report the agency submitted to Congress on Thursday. The investigations focused on Pruitt’s use of staff members for personal purposes and a condo rental deal he made with a lobbyist.

    The office did not make a finding as to whether Pruitt violated federal law, according to its semiannual report, saying in each case that “the result of the investigation was inconclusive.”

    I want Scott Pruitt’s balls removed and stuffed in his mouth. This is bullshit.

  8. 8
    eemom says:

    Some good news out of NC today, though: Senator Tim Scott — the Senate’s only Black republican — and flaky Flake provided the two votes that sank the nomination of a godawful Jesse Helms protege to the US District Court for the Eastern District of that state.

    So there’s one less racist on the federal bench. Can I get a hallelujah?

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    It may be that Harris’ close Republican *primary* win over the incumbent Pittenger was marred by mail ballot fraud in Bladen County

    Every accusation is a fucking confession. Every single fucking time.

  10. 10
    gene108 says:

    Vote by mail is the best…my ass.,.

    Only works, if election officials are ethical.

    We’ve seen so many ways to cheat with mail in ballots.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:


    So there’s one less racist on the federal bench. Can I get a hallelujah?

    They approved a different one for final voting today. No joy until we retake the Senate, I’m afraid.

  12. 12
    gene108 says:


    SC Senator Scott

    I am sure both Tillis and Burr would happily vote for a Jesse Helms protege.

  13. 13
    Steeplejack says:


    Ivanka is doing human trafficking? That is a new line for her, isn’t it?

  14. 14
    Achrachno says:

    @TenguPhule: “the evil of human trafficking By Ivanka Trump”

    We should have known.

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:


    human trafficking By Ivanka Trump

    So she’s branching out from just selling tacky shoes and handbags made in Chinese prison sweatshops?

  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    Whoever it was that was suggesting Trump and family might flee to Russia, Air Force One has landed in Buenos Aires and he and Melania have walked down the stairs, so unless they’re body doubles, they’re there.

  17. 17
    Platonailedit says:

    The founder of the MeToo movement has said that the campaign against sexual violence she began more than a decade ago has become “unrecognisable” to her.

    Speaking at TEDWomen in Palm Springs, Tarana Burke said a media backlash had framed the movement as a witch hunt.

    “Suddenly, a movement to centre survivors of sexual violence is being talked about as a vindictive plot against men,” she said.

    “Victims are heard and then vilified.”

    Ms Burke said in the wake of events like Brett Kavanaugh being elected to the Supreme Court despite facing allegations of sexual misconduct – which he denied – US politicians seemed to be “pivoting away from the issue”.

    “This movement has been called a watershed moment but some days I wake up feeling that all the evidence points to the contrary,” she said.

    She ended her talk with a plea that victims not be forced to relive their traumas by speaking about them and she called for the fight against “power and privilege” to continue.

    “We have to re-educate ourselves and our children to understand that power and privilege doesn’t always have to destroy and take – it can be used to serve and build,” she said.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    @eemom: Tim Scott is out of South Carolina. And yea for him.

    Junior Senator; the senior is Lindsey “Vapors” Graham.

    NC has Thom Tillis and Richard Burr.

  19. 19
    germy says:

    Wikileaks, furious about a report in The Guardian claiming that founder Julian Assange met with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, said that it plans to sue it for libel. Moreover, it expects to create a “business model” from such lawsuits.

    NEW RULES: WikiLeaks is going make suing fake news producers like the Guardian a central part of its business model. Since libels are the most predictable response to the power and accuracy of a WikiLeaks’ publication, our analysis is that this is a stable, scalable income stream

  20. 20
    feebog says:


    Scott is the jet. Senator from South Carolina.

  21. 21
    Achrachno says:

    @rikyrah: Are there any recent cases of voting fraud that are not by Republicans? I can’t remember any.

  22. 22
    themann1086 says:

    This is actually my aunt’s district, she was so distraught when Harris won. I’ve been following this very closely since the board voted against certifying. This is crazy stuff.

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:


    Turns out that the media was protecting the abusers and assaulters within their ranks when they decided to denigrate #MeToo. Not really a surprise, but always infuriating.

  24. 24
    Steve in the ATL says:



  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Someone has to make her knockoff shoes and handbags…

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @eemom: Tim Scott is one of the two senators from South Carolina.

  27. 27
    Gravenstone says:

    @Burnspbesq: Yeah, nothing says ‘this is on the up and up’ like having a 30 point disparity between in person and a late surge of absentee ballots.

  28. 28
    Platonailedit says:

    the whole laura loomer debacle really shows how effective it is to deplatform these people

    without things like twitter they are non-entitiesremember milo? baked alaska? alex jones?

    sunlight isn't the best disinfectant, a permaban on bad faith actors is

    — Calvin (@calvinstowell) November 29, 2018


  29. 29
  30. 30
    Timurid says:

    The voter fraud unicorn finally appears, and it’s being ridden by a Republican…

  31. 31
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @hells littlest angel: If voter fraud isn’t a problem, by God, we’ll make it one!

  32. 32
    Mary G says:

    There must be something in the water in NC, because their Republicans seem even crazier than other states’ crazy Republicans, from the incessant gerrymandering even after courts rule against them, to shit like this.

    Tim Scott scares me a bit, because he’s an excellent speaker and he tries to pull his party back from the racism. He’s a true believer in the voodoo economics and Christianism social conservatism and I can see the party rising from the ashes of Trump claiming to have become woke and regretful and nominating him so they can say we’re all racists if we don’t vote for him.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    Bladen county has been reduced more and more over time. 55 of NC’s current 100 counties used to be part of Bladen county. Perhaps some more severe whittling is in order.

  34. 34
    Jackie says:

    I live in the reddest county in Blue Washington. We vote by mail. I never-ever mail my ballot in – even though it’s free postage (as of this year.) I proudly drop my ballot off at the nearest auditors office. I want to insure my ballot doesn’t “get lost in the mail,” and I always check online to make sure its received AND counted.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet for life.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    I wonder what the remedy is for this one. Not only was the general election in Bladen County fraudulent, it appears the GOP primary may have resulted in a fraudulent nominee.

    What a mess. People should go to jail for this one, and be fined, heavily.

    Do they make Bladen County revote? Do they canvass every single one of the absentee ballot voters? That could be enormously interesting.

  37. 37
    Gravenstone says:

    Looks like someone is being called into the home office for his review, whether he wants it or not…

    Trying one more time…

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    Both sides.

  39. 39
    sm*t cl*de says:


    The Trump administration is taking bold action to combat the evil of human trafficking By Ivanka Trump

    This is why punctuation matters.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    Projection with these clowns😡

  41. 41
    GregB says:

    @Mary G:

    Bachelor Tim might have a tough time making it through the GOP primaries.

  42. 42
    chopper says:


    wait, the admin is taking action against human trafficking by ivanka trump? bout fuckin time.

  43. 43
    randy khan says:


    It’s not clear that Wikileaks could be libeled by a report that its founder met with someone. Assange, maybe, but only if he can explain why merely alleging that he met with someone is libelous. After all, something has to be false and defamatory to be libelous.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    OT. WaPo with the understated headlines.

    Individual 1’: Trump emerges as a central subject of Mueller probe

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    From the WaPost’s story: Certification in limbo in N.C. House race as fraud investigation continues

    If the investigation does continue next week, precinct-by-precinct scrutiny of returns is likely — especially for absentee ballots. The state board has the power to order a new election if it determines the irregularities could have made a difference in the outcome or were widespread enough to generally taint the outcome.

    Whether the number of absentee ballots that were possibly illegally collected — or destroyed — exceeds Harris’s 905-vote margin will be a crucial piece of the investigation.


    The state elections board has investigative and subpoena powers to pursue the allegations. If it chooses, it may hold off certifying the election results until it has completed its investigation. The board also has the power to refer the matter for criminal investigation to state and federal prosecutors; it did so in 2016 after similar reports of irregularities in Bladen County. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on any possible investigation.

    We do need Jimmy Carter and other election observers.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    Jesus. No Labels is advertising on MSNBC.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @GregB: Neither of South Carolina’s male senators is married? LOL.

    I am still very proud of Tim Scott for stopping that voter-suppression endorsing judicial nominee. Credit to him.

  48. 48
    germy says:

    Every WSJ piece ever.— 🌹Ocasio Brolicious (@LifeforceVibes) November 26, 2018

  49. 49
    Procopius says:

    @Achrachno: Like you, I have only seen convictions for voting fraud offenses of Republicans, including one of a woman who was a local activist for voter ID based on her claims of widespread voting fraud. I think that’s their basis for claiming it’s widespread — so many of them do it.

  50. 50
    joel hanes says:

    @Mary G:

    I can see the party rising from the ashes of Trump claiming to have become woke and regretful and nominating him

    Actually, we need a good-faith opposition party, even Christianist and supply-side deluded if honest. It would be delicious to watch internal conflicts rend the MAGA hats if the Rs were to nominate a black Christianist. For my own part, I remember that Mueller is a Republican, and after Trump implodes and the dust settles, could be the nucleus for a reformed party if the regretful Brocks and Brookses and especially the rich guys get serious.

    But what I suspect will happen is that Pence will escape the net and rally the God-botherers, and the party will stay white and xenophobic. Romney will run again and lose. The Rs will follow their California caucus into the wilderness, and I can’t see beyond that.

  51. 51
    joel hanes says:


    Not that marriage proves anything — viz. Sen. McConnell.

  52. 52
    joel hanes says:


    really shows how effective it is to deplatform these people

    This is why I think a citizens’ attack on Fox and Sinclair is essential to save the Republic.

  53. 53
    grandpa john says:

    @eemom: Yeah except that would be South Carolina, not North

  54. 54
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Was this the story you were referencing? [ETA: I couldn’t make the “link” command work, so I cut-and-pasted.]

  55. 55
    Elizabelle says:

    Lean out, bitch.

    NY Times breaking news:

    Sheryl Sandberg is said to have asked Facebook employees to examine George Soros’ finances after he criticized the social media giant.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:


    True fact: California, the most populous state and the 3rd largest by area, has a total of 53 counties. NC seems a little county-heavy.

  57. 57
    scav says:

    Rather enjoying the repeated drumbeat of different headlines all associating “lie” and “fraud” with “Republican” and “Trump” in all these different contexts.

  58. 58
    Yarrow says:

    I just saw an ad for something called Portal from Facebook. It looks like a video camera/screen that follows you around the room. Yikes! Facebook is so trustworthy with our data that now we want to let them video the interiors of our homes. No thank you.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    NY Times story:

    Sheryl Sandberg asked Facebook’s communications staff to research George Soros’s financial interests in the wake of his high-profile attacks on tech companies, according to three people with knowledge of her request, indicating that Facebook’s second in command was directly involved in the social network’s response to the liberal billionaire.

    Ms. Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, asked for the information in an email in January to senior communications and policy executives. The email came within days of a blistering speech Mr. Soros delivered that month at the World Economic Forum, attacking Facebook and Google as a “menace” to society and calling for the companies to be regulated.

    Ms. Sandberg, who was at the forum — but was not present for Mr. Soros’s speech, according to a person who attended it — told subordinates to examine why Mr. Soros had criticized the tech companies and whether he stood to gain financially from the attacks. At the time, Facebook was under growing scrutiny for the role its platform had played in disseminating Russian propaganda and fomenting campaigns of hatred in Myanmar and other countries.

    Facebook later commissioned a campaign-style opposition research effort by Definers Public Affairs, a Republican-linked firm, which gathered and circulated to reporters public information about Mr. Soros’s funding of several American advocacy groups critical of Facebook. ….

    Because it’s all about money, money, money with these asshats. Soros could not have been concerned just from a public policy or ethical standpoint. Just $$$$$$. Fuckers.

  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:

    @joel hanes: It just startled me, because I knew Sen. Tim Scott was conservative and religious and from the south and so I assumed “married.” My bad.

    And yeah re Turtle. Shoes to drop there.

  61. 61
    grandpa john says:

    @gene108: Yep. In general although we in SC tend to draw more criticism and disparaging commentary, our elections have far less chicanery and outright theft than our northern neighbors

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:


    People who are primarily motivated by money don’t understand that other people may have other motives. Classic projection on Sandberg’s part.

  63. 63
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: it may be that various families wanted county governments to use as power bases, so the state kept making new ones. That’s how Georgia got so many counties.

  64. 64
    Gravenstone says:

    @Yarrow: Yeah, they were running commercials for that thing a month or so ago. First and only thought ‘was fuck to the no!’

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:


    That is hilarious!!! Putin will SUMMON Trump to meet with him!!!

    That’s the real meat of this whole investigation in a nutshell.

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: @Mnemosyne: I also get the sense that for Sandberg criticism of Facebook is personal. She takes it as criticism of her. I’ve had that sense for awhile now having seen various interviews with her over the years. So if Soros was criticizing Facebook, he was criticizing her and she wanted to take him down.

  67. 67
    Mike in NC says:

    Have no idea why there are 100 counties in North Carolina. Maybe at some point somebody in the state house thought it was a nice round number?

  68. 68
    joel hanes says:



    Everyone already knows. That’s what makes the continued sham so pathetic.

  69. 69
    joel hanes says:

    @Mike in NC:

    why [some eastern states have many counties]

    Because they were settled with small farms, and one of the rubrics for organizing counties was the idea that a farmer should be able to rise before sunrise, hitch up the team, drive into the county seat, transact some business, and drive the team home by sundown. That makes the county about 50 miles across in flat country, and smaller in the hills and hollers.

  70. 70
    Brendan in NC says:

    @hells littlest angel: unfortunately, that was a constitutional amendment that was passed this November as well. They waited until it passed before they wrote the specifics

  71. 71
  72. 72
    opiejeanne says:

    @joel hanes: *raises hand* I don’t know. What’s all this about McConnell and his marriage?

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @J R in WV:
    In a rational US Senate (but who am I kidding, right?) POTUS taking orders from another nation’s leader would by itself justify removing him from office.

  74. 74
    Yarrow says:

    @opiejeanne: It’s supposedly a poorly kept secret that he prefers his own gender and his wife is a beard.

  75. 75
    Amir Khalid says:

    “This”about his marriage is that his wife is essentially his beard.

  76. 76
    Achrachno says:

    @Procopius: But I should say I still don’t think it happens very often, though this NC case makes me wonder. In R controlled backwaters maybe it does and I should adjust my views.

  77. 77
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ohio has 88 counties; to me, it looks like California doesn’t have enough counties.

  78. 78

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t disagree that Cali’s approach is more sensible overall than many other states’, but San Bernardino County in particular is ridiculous. It’s larger than something like twelve states, or than CT, NJ, DE, and RI combined. I always assumed that had to be some sort of elaborate practical joke the first time I saw it in an atlas, but it appears to be real.

  79. 79
    eemom says:

    Jayzus, y’all — I KNEW Tim Scott is from SC. I meant the COURT is in NC.

    /stalks off mumbling

  80. 80
    eemom says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    his beard

    I hate that phrase. Where did it even come from? Is the husband of a gay woman a “beard” too? #ew

  81. 81
    Ohio Dad says:

    @trollhattan: When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day

  82. 82
    Achrachno says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): San Bernardino County is huge but most of the population is in the SW corner. The desert part has very low population density and is mostly in one congressional district.

  83. 83
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @H.E.Wolf: Isn’t it pretty unusual for 1 world leader to refuse to accept another’s cancelling a meeting? ‘You say you won’t meet with me? Tough. You WILL show up.’

    Will T show up? Bad optics for him either way.

    If Trump doesn’t show up? What does Putin do? Consider no-show a declaration of war? An invitation to take out Trump or some one close to him?

  84. 84
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan: umm, you’re a Jet till the end.

  85. 85
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: Read somewhere he has grown children from a first wife. Not an argument against your claim.

  86. 86
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Have no idea why there are 100 counties in North Carolina.

    In older (eastern) states, administrative areas were established before the c0nvenience of automobiles or even trains—or good “infrastructure” in general. Smaller was better.

    Top 10 states by number of counties:

    254 – Texas
    159 – Georgia
    134 – Virginia
    120 – Kentucky
    115 – Missouri
    105 – Kansas
    102 – Illinois
    100 – North Carolina
     99 – Iowa
     95 – Tennessee

    ETA: What joel hanes said.

  87. 87
    rekoob says:

    @Steeplejack: Hmm…the total for Virginia may include independent cities, which are distinct from counties. The City of Richmond, for example, is not in any county, but is its own political subdivision. According to Wikipedia, we have 95 counties and 38 independent cities. Arlington County, I believe, is the only county that doesn’t have an independent city within its borders.

    I’ve never understood political subdivisions in other states, especially the northeast.

  88. 88
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Steeplejack: also: more counties = more patronage. More courthouses to build, more county clerks, more sheriffs, more judges etc.

    As always, follow the $s

  89. 89
    Karen says:

    I am really confused. Is Harris a Rethuglican or a Democrat?

  90. 90
    Steeplejack says:


    Which doesn’t negate the underlying thesis.

    My source was this Wikipedia article.

    Arlington County—from which I live just over the line in Fairfax County—is basically what would have been called a city-state in ancient times. A mostly suburban city-state.

  91. 91
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    True. Steve in the wherever mentioned that above.

  92. 92
    opiejeanne says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): San Bernardino county was even bigger at one time because Riverside County split away from it. It is the largest county in the US, IIRC.

    People I knew when we lived there, people my husband worked for in the city hall, told the story of how the water rights for the city of San Bernardino were lifted by employee(s) of Riverside in the newly-founded Riverside County, and the city of Riverside still owns the water rights. When the new city hall in San Berdoo was flooding because of torrential rains one year they were not allowed to lower the water table by dumping excess water into the Santa Ana river. There was a lawsuit and the judge said they’d have to wear waders to go into the basement.

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