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WATCH: NC-09 Absentee Ballot Harvester Says She Didn't Know It Was Illegal

As reporters dig into the issues with absentee ballots in North Carolina's 9th District, a pattern of fraud appears to be emerging with respect to how those ballots were harvested and handled by campaign consultant Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr.

The amazing depth and breadth of apparent absentee voter fraud in North Carolina's 9th district is breathtaking. In a nutshell, it appears that a Republican operative with convictions for fraud in his past harvested absentee ballots, discarding some and having day workers collect others, adding their signatures as witnesses to those they actually turned in.

WSOC political reporter Joe Bruno spent some time today comparing signatures on the ballot envelopes which were turned in, noting that a high number of them had the same witness signatures. Here is his list:

  • Woody Hester witnessed 44
  • James Singletary witnessed 42
  • Lisa Britt witnessed 42
  • Ginger Eason witnessed 28
  • Jessica Dowless witnessed 15
  • Cheryl Kinlaw witnessed 13
  • Deborah Edwards witnessed 11
  • Sandra Dowless witnessed 10

Bruno then set out to reach those who signed the envelopes. Wood Hester and James Singletary weren't home. Lisa Britt doesn't live at the address she used on the ballots, but Ginger Eason was home and she answered the door.

When Bruno asked her why she witnessed so many ballots, she said, "I was helping McCrae pick up ballots." She explained that she was paid $75-$100 per week to harvest completed absentee ballots. She also told Bruno she had no idea it was illegal.

A clearer picture is emerging right now. It seems that candidate Mark Harris, that fine upstanding Baptist minister, paid Dowless to fix things for him via absentee ballot harvesting. If they were votes for Harris, they were witnessed and submitted. Incomplete ballots were harvested and discarded, according to others.

In North Carolina, there is a tight universe of people who can submit an absentee ballot on behalf of a voter. It is limited to the voter, the voter’s near relative, defined as "a parent, legal guardian, spouse, sibling, grandparent, child, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step parent or step child."

Ginger Eason was none of those. She was a paid contractor working on behalf of a paid Republican operative to illegally harvest, cull and submit absentee ballots to toss the election over to Mark Harris. At least, that's what the evidence shows at this time.

We're sure there's more to come.

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