In the hearing into the contested congressional race in the NC-9, the focus fell heavily on Leslie McCrae Dowless, the man Reverend Mark Harris insisted be hired by his political consulting firm, Red Dome, to deliver the absentee vote for him. Deliver Dowlass did.
Grateful to ProgressNC for bulleting these key points:
Dowless employee Lisa Britt went into extensive detail about the mechanics of McCrae Dowless’s vote theft operation, describing how she filled out incomplete absentee ballots in support of Republicans, falsified witness signatures, and gave unsealed ballots to Dowless -- all of which is illegal.
Britt also provided evidence that Dowless committed obstruction of justice and witness-tampering by asking Britt and other potential witnesses to falsely claim Dowless did nothing wrong.
Britt testified that Dowless went to great lengths to knowingly conceal his illegal vote theft scheme by delivering ballots in small batches, mailing them from post offices near voters’ addresses, having witnesses falsely use the same date as the voter signed and using different ink colors for signatures.
Britt also testified that Dowless encouraged her to commit voter fraud by voting despite being on probation for a felony.
State Elections Director Kim Strach described evidence of a "coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme" as well as a coordinated attempt to tamper with witnesses by Dowless and potentially others.
Strach said Dowless was paid over $130,000 by the Harris campaign and its consultant Red Dome. Britt testified that she heard Dowless and Red Dome founder Andy Yates discussing vote totals, indicating that Red Dome was aware of Dowless’s illegal tactics.By the close of the hearing yesterday, it had become clear that Dowless, who was in the room all day, is refusing to testify without a grant of immunity, and his colorful attorney, Cynthia Adams Singletary, played Rudy Guiliani for the cameras, talking way too much in a way that didn't seem to help her client. Cameras like a talker.
Strach said Yates has so far refused to speak with investigators, and that criminal investigations into the apparent vote theft scheme will continue after the hearing.
The hearing continues this morning (in a few actual minutes). When it ends -- Gawd knows when -- the board will "vote to either certify the victory of Republican Mark Harris, call for a new election, or deadlock, which would throw the matter into limbo" (Brian Murphy et al.).