JUST THE BEGINNING

Elections Leader Nominated to Oversee North Carolina Election-Fraud Probe

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper nominated a new state elections board chairman to oversee the state’s contentious investigation into alleged absentee vote tampering in the 9th district’s midterm elections. Last week, the board voted to pursue an evidentiary hearing on the results—which currently show Democrat Dan McCready trailing Republican Mark Harris by only 905 votes—after concerns grew about the counting of absentee ballots in two counties where Harris performed surprisingly well.

The drama intensified Monday, when the Wake County district attorney announced that she had been probing “voting irregularities” in Bladen County for almost a year, and one woman told a local news station that she was instructed to pick up absentee ballots and deliver them to Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr, a convicted felon and political operative who may have been eligible for a $40,000 bonus if Harris won the election. On Monday, Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin told reporters that “there appears to be election tampering, election rigging, [and] election stealing,” although it’s unclear if the results of the investigation will change the outcome of the vote.