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North Carolina GOP leader says he's "horrified" by allegations of election fraud

North Carolina GOP leader says he's

In affidavits offered by the state Democratic Party, voters described a woman coming to their homes to collect their absentee ballots, whether or not they had been completed properly.

Amid the developments, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the House "retains the right to decide who is seated" and could take the "extraordinary step" of calling for a new election if the victor isn't clear.

Whether it's one election or multiple elections, the cost is going to be as much as $50,000 or more for Robeson County, he said.

Investigators are examining whether Leslie McCrae Dowless, a longtime Bladen County operative who worked for a consultant to the Harris campaign, and a group of people loosely connected to him gathered unsealed absentee ballots, marked those ballots for their candidate, sealed them and signed as witnesses.

Lawmakers there are trying to prevent the new leaders from exercising the power voters gave them, a tactic borrowed from the North Carolina Republican playbook after Democrat Roy Cooper beat McCrory in the governor's race in 2016. At that time, the GOP chair demanded a quick certification before the Democratic majority on the election board could "unscrupulously order a new election on a party line vote".

She said "any member-elect can object to the seating and the swearing-in of another member elect".

Harris leads by 905 votes, but the state's elections board refused to certify the results after allegations of absentee ballot irregularities emerged.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Republicans should be concerned as well, because Dowless also operated in the GOP primary, and the allegations have significance beyond North Carolina.




Dowless, 62, is a veteran political operative in Bladen County with a criminal history. "This is about undermining the integrity of our elections". The House Administration committee has "full investigative authority to determine the victor", she said.

However, he said that if the outcome would not have been changed, the Republican candidate should be certified the victor. The law targeted "African-Americans with nearly surgical precision", said the 2016 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals' Fourth Circuit.

Republican officials did little to scrutinize the results, instead turning their attention to Harris' general-election campaign against a well-funded Democratic opponent, the people said.

But in recent days, with more evidence surfacing of absentee ballot fraud, including the possible destruction of ballots from Democrats, McCready withdrew his concession on Thursday, accusing Harris of knowingly supporting 'criminal activity'. He has denied any wrongdoing to The Charlotte Observer. The candidate, who lost, paid for Dowless' get-out-the-vote efforts and received 98 percent of the absentee ballot vote in the controversial Bladen County. Dowless worked as a contractor for Harris' chief strategist in the campaign, Harris campaign lawyer John Branch confirmed Tuesday.

He recalled concluding that Harris had won the overall vote with a strong showing from evangelical voters, but he said: "We did not look real specifically at absentee ballots".

There are also claims that incomplete ballots were collected and then filled out later, Cohen said. If the board hasn't certified the results by January 3, when the new Congress is sworn in, any member can object to Harris being seated. Initial counts showed Moody to be the victor by 138 votes.

Drew Griffin also reported that Woodhouse will support holding an entirely new election if it turns out that the allegations of election fraud are in fact true.