Salon: North Carolina GOP sabotages investigation of election fraud in disputed House district
As evidence of Republican vote theft and election fraud in southeastern North Carolina continues to mount, the state Republican Party has begun stonewalling and sabotaging the investigation at every step in order to help Mark Harris cross the finish line. Meanwhile, we now know the Trump administration has ignored evidence of GOP vote theft in Bladen County since 2017.
- In January 2017, the State Board of Elections brought serious evidence of absentee ballot vote theft to the U.S. Attorney in Raleigh appointed by Donald Trump and asked the Department of Justice to investigate.
- However, since current U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon was appointed by Donald Trump in October 2017, nothing has been done to investigate the Bladen County vote theft scheme.
- The voters of North Carolina deserve a meeting with Higdon, an explanation for his inaction, and an expedited investigation. Those responsible for absentee ballot vote theft deserve to be investigated, held accountable and prosecuted if evidence warrants.
North Carolina voters need to be assured that their elections are fair and their votes are counted, and the NCGOP needs to stop stonewalling and sabotaging the investigation
Under a bill passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, a new permanent elections board cannot be seated until Jan. 31.
Because Republicans refused to submit any nominations, Cooper announced that the evidentiary hearing on the potential fraud that was scheduled for Jan. 11 cannot go forward and accused Republicans of obstruction.
“All North Carolinians deserve to have confidence in a system of voting that ensures honest and fair elections,” Cooper said, according to WSOC. “If politicians and the people they hire are manipulating the system to steal elections, all of us should pull together to get to the bottom of it and stop it — regardless of whether the candidate who finished ahead in a tainted election is a Republican or a Democrat.”
Cooper said that while he could seat only Democrats on the board, he would not do so in order to “ensure that the Board remains fair and bipartisan and to make sure all North Carolinians have confidence in its decisions,” the Charlotte Observer reported.
The North Carolina Board of Elections said it will continue to interview witnesses but cannot hold a hearing because only seated board members can hold hearings, certify elections or order a new election.
“State Board staff will continue to interview witnesses and pursue leads as part of this investigation,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the NCSBE. “This agency remains steadfast in its obligation to ensure confidence in the elections process.”
Harris announced Wednesday that he will file a legal challenge demanding to be immediately certified the winner of the election, WBTV reported. Harris said that he will file the legal challenge because of the election board delays.
“If we don’t do something the people of the 9th congressional district will go on without representation for a significant period of time," Harris' attorney, David Freedman, told WBTV.
Harris is also scheduled to meet with the elections board on Thursday.
No one was seated from the district when the new House of Representatives was sworn in Thursday. House Democrats have vowed not to seat Harris unless the elections board certifies the results.
“If North Carolina doesn’t certify the election, the member’s not seated, there’s nothing for our committee to do,” California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the new chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration, told McClatchy.“North Carolina will figure it out. We don’t have the authority to order an election or anything like that. The only decision the House can make is whether or not to seat someone.”