Loading...
BYH Zoning Commission. Take your chairs and sit in the field by Bostic Sugg in morning or afternoon and tell the...

New election needed in 9th Congressional District

Election 2018 North Carolina Congress

Mark Harris speaks to the media during a news conference in Matthews, N.C. The nation's last unresolved fall congressional race with Harris against Democrat Dan McCready is awash in doubt as North Carolina election investigators concentrate on a rural county where absentee-ballot fraud allegations are so flagrant they've put the Election Day result into question

Loading…

Friday, December 7, 2018

In the week since the state Board of Elections declined to certify the results of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District election, journalists and others have begun to fill in the details of a troubling case of apparent ballot fraud. In Bladen County — and perhaps other counties — individuals have interfered with the voting process by gaining access to others’ absentee ballots, according to witnesses and records. Investigators also are looking into the burgeoning scandal.

There may be no way, however, to know how widespread the fraud was, or whether it involved enough ballots to potentially change the outcome of the election — a 905-vote victory for Republican Mark Harris over Democrat Dan McCready. But we do know enough. Unless new evidence somehow clears the clouds hanging over this election, the Board of Elections should toss out the 9th District results.

Calling for a new election would be an enormously significant decision for the board. It should be done with the support of N.C. statutes and without a whiff of partisan politics. Republicans from Raleigh to Washington would surely howl; already, they’ve noted that the number of absentee ballots cast in Bladen County falls short of the overall margin of victory in the 9th.

This is true. But witnesses have said that their ballots, which were collected by individuals apparently working for ringleader McCrae Dowless, were never submitted to the county or state. There’s little certainty about how many ballots were wrongly tossed or destroyed in Bladen County (there were more than 1,500 that were requested but unreturned) or how much Dowless and his workers may have done the same in neighboring Robeson County, as reports suggest. It might have been enough to change the outcome of the race. It might not have been.

That possibility, however, triggers a statutory threshold for holding a new election. North Carolina General Statute 163A-1180 authorizes the Board of Elections to intervene and “take any other action necessary to assure that an election is determined without taint of fraud or corruption and without irregularities that may have changed the result of an election.” The board should call for a new NC-09 general election. The U.S. House can and should order a new primary, given that results show Harris winning a startling 96 percent of the Bladen absentee vote in his narrow 2018 primary victory over then incumbent Robert Pittenger.

Questions remain about how much Harris knew about the work being done on his behalf. Both he and his chief consultant, Andy Yates, contend they weren’t aware of any election fraud in the 9th District, but Dowless was well-known as a dicey figure in N.C. political circles. He’s a convicted felon who had been investigated for similar fraud in 2016, and he even was featured nationally in a This American Life episode. Harris, at the least, should have seen the smoke.

Voters in the 9th District deserve the confidence that their election was free from fraud. North Carolina statute supports it. The evidence already demands it. The Board of Elections should start the election over.

The Charlotte Observer

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

February 18, 2019 - 6 minutes ago

Under the guise of preventing mass shootings, North Carolina lawmakers tried to chip away at the Second Amendment this week.

State Rep. Christy Clark, D-Mecklenburg, called a Thursday press conference at the General Assembly to introduce the Gun Violence Prevention Act, a grab bag of restriction…

February 17, 2019

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., who died Sunday on his 76th birthday, was a fascinating lawmaker.

He was a man who held strong convictions but who was willing to listen to the other side and could be moved when the argument was particularly persuasive. He was the rare official who wasn’t…

Obit Walter Jones Jr-2

February 16, 2019

Florida has been forever changed by the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. In the 12 months since 17 people were killed by a troubled former student firing a semi-automatic assault rifle, there have been modest new gun controls, enhanced security at schools and an…

School Shooting Florida-1

February 15, 2019

When it seemed Mitt Romney might win the popular vote in 2012 but lose the Electoral College, Donald Trump called the system “a disaster for a democracy.”

He was right about that. The election four years later confirmed it.

He is the fifth president to have won only on account of an…

Electoral College-3

February 11, 2019

While North Carolina has become more accommodating to those outside the two-party paradigm, with the recent recognition of the Green and Constitution parties, third-party and unaffiliated voters are still getting the shaft.

The Carolina Journal reports that county boards of elections in the Tar…

Voting Records North Carolina

February 08, 2019

Having been forced to delay his State of the Union address by a government shutdown that he precipitated, President Trump seemed as though he might never yield the podium once he got his chance Tuesday night. In a speech that reflected endurance if not eloquence, Trump offered a thin sheen of…

State of Union-2

February 06, 2019

The number of pedestrians killed in the United States over the past decade or so — 49,340 between 2008 and 2017 — is about seven times higher than the number of Americans killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined.

Those are among the many sobering statistics from a recent report…

Pedestrian Deaths Things to Know-1

February 04, 2019

If the war in Afghanistan has been anything, it has been a disappointment.

After 17 years of fighting that has seen thousands of deaths and nearly a trillion dollars in expenses, Americans are sick and tired of the interminable conflict.

Fortunately, serious and substantive negotiations are finally…

US Afghanistan

February 03, 2019

Those upset with how the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors is running the 17-campus system have been circulating a year-old magazine profile of Chairman Harry Smith. The profile, written by Jim Pomeranz and published last January in Business North Carolina, was headlined…

1S7A6270-9

February 01, 2019

With frigid Arctic weather descending on tens of millions of Americans, states have declared emergencies, mail carriers are staying inside, and there’s a risk of frostbite for exposed skin in Chicago in as little as five minutes.

Little wonder that global warming is the last thing on…

Winter Weather Pennsylvania-16
81 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»