LAUREN KAY CHIARADIO
For months North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District has suffered from turmoil revolving around the results of the 2018 midterm. Upon discovering these results as fraudulent, the North Carolina Board of Elections ordered a special election to be held in September of 2019.
In November of 2018, election results came back from North Carolina’s 9th District with Republican nominee Mark Harris winning against democratic nominee Dan McCready by 905 votes, according to the Washington Post.
However, soon after the election results were in, evidence came to light drawing into question the legitimacy of the election, which ultimately led the State Board of Elections to call for a new election in September of 2019. This order described finding “overwhelming evidence that a coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme operated during the 2018 General Election in Bladen and Robeson Counties.” The same order determined Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. and others as the perpetrators of the scheme who were funded primarily by the Mark Harris for Congress Committee.
Leslie Dowless and four others have since been charged with multiple felonies revolving around the absentee ballot scheme as reported by the Washington Post
Mark Harris continues to deny knowledge of the scheme despite his son having testified to the State Board of Elections that he had emailed his father warning the “absentee by mail votes look very strange,” also detailed in the State Board of Elections’ findings.
Mark Harris has announced he will not run in the 2019 special elections due to health issues as stated by the New York Times. Dan McCready, however, will be running in the election which will be held on September 10th, according to Ballotpedia.