Democrats Say They Will Refuse To Seat NC Republican Linked To Voter Fraud

Earlier this month The Resurgent described the case of the North Carolina ninth congressional district where the election of Republican Mark Harris has still not been certified. An investigation found a suspicious pattern in absentee votes for Harris and prompted the board to delay certification of the election results. On Friday, the board disbanded without certifying the election despite a last-minute petition by the Harris campaign. The dissolution of the board leaves the outcome of the election in uncertainty, but incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says that the House will not seat Harris.

In an interview on MSNBC Friday, Hoyer said, “I simply said if Mr. Harris is not certified as the duly, fairly, legally elected member, we would certainly oppose his seating. And as I understand it, that verification has not come. In fact, Republican leaders in North Carolina have said that there is substantial question as to the validity of the outcome of the general election. That’s in court now as you know.”

“We’ll see what the court does, but it is clear apparently from all sides that there was fraud committed by certain participants in the administration of the election,” Hoyer continued. “Under those circumstances, we ought to have a new election for the general election, not the primary. The primary was not contested, but for the general election.”

If the House refuses to seat Harris, then a new election will be held in the district. New elections would include new primaries the Republican and Democratic nominations as well as the Libertarian Party which also fielded a candidate.

Voter Fraud May Have Thrown This North Carolina Congressional Election

Voter fraud may have changed the outcome of a congressional election in North Carolina. For a change, the fraud allegations are against the Republicans and, rather than centering on a voter ID issue, the problem deals with absentee ballots, a weak link in the electoral systems of many states.

The race in North Carolina’s ninth district was called for Mark Harris, a Republican running to succeed Robert Pittenger, the Republican incumbent who was defeated in the primary. Harris, a Charlotte pastor, led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes on Election night and McCready conceded the next day. Over the next few weeks, irregularities in the election have caused the North Carolina Board of Elections to delay certifying the election. On Nov. 26, the board, which is made up of four Republicans, four Democrats and one nonpartisan, voted unanimously to delay until an investigation had been completed. The race is still officially undecided.

The investigation centers on absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson Counties, two of the most rural counties of the district, and a staffer for the Harris campaign staffer who allegedly ran an operation that submitted hundreds of illegal ballots. Sworn affidavits and news reports allege that Leslie McCrae Dowless and other campaign workers would go to visit voters and have them fill out requests for absentee ballots. Mr. Dowless and others allegedly returned later to pick up the absentee ballots, which were sometimes unsealed, with the promise of submitting them.

Datesha Montgomery, a 27-year-old woman from Elizabethtown, N.C., said in sworn affidavit cited by ABC News that a woman “came by and asked for my absentee ballot” in early October.

“She states that [the woman] was collecting peoples [sic] ballots in the area. She had just come from another ladies [sic] house. I filled out two names on the ballot, Hakeem Brown for Sheriff and Vice Rozier for board of education. She stated the others were not important. I gave her the ballot and she said she would finish it herself. I signed the ballot and she left. It was not sealed up at any time,” Montgomery said in the affidavit.

Under North Carolina law, only the voter, the voter’s close relatives or legal guardian are allowed to drop off absentee ballots. Despite the law, at least five voters in addition to Montgomery have signed affidavits that present similar stories.

The case for fraud goes beyond voter testimony. There is also statistical evidence. The ninth district is made up of parts of eight counties. Michael Blitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, analyzed the absentee voting and found that Bladen County had a much higher share of absentee ballots than the other counties in the district. Seven percent of Bladen’s registered voters asked for absentee ballots compared with about three percent statewide.

Even though Bladen County Republicans requested only 19 percent of absentee ballots, Harris received 61 percent of the absentee mail vote there. What’s more, Bladen County was the only county in the district where Harris won the absentee mail vote. FiveThirtyEight noticed the same discrepancies in the Bladen returns.

Blitzer also pointed out that Bladen County had an abnormally high rate of unreturned ballots. Forty percent of absentee ballots mailed out were never returned. The next highest ghosting rate was only 27 percent. This could indicate that some of the ballots that were picked up were discarded rather than turned in.

If that weren’t enough, WSOC, a local television station, interviewed Ginger Eason, whose name appears as a witness on 28 absentee ballots. Eason said that Dowless paid her $75 to $100 per week to pick up absentee ballots. This would have been a violation of the law if the voters were not Eason’s relatives. WSOC also listed seven other people who were listed as witnesses on an unusual number of absentee ballots.

Leslie McCrae Dowless, who goes by his middle name, is a longtime political operative in Bladen County who has a criminal history. Dowless, who turned in 592 of the 1,341 absentee ballots in Bladen, was convicted of insurance fraud in 1992. He was also accused of tampering with absentee ballots in 2016. That year two voters accused his workers of paying them to request absentee ballots. In one case, the requested absentee ballots were never delivered and the voter tried to vote in person, only to be told that ballots for her and her family had already been turned in. In another case, a get-out-the-vote activist working for Dowless was accused of telling the voter who she had to vote for.

Candidates supported by Dowless typically do very well in Bladen County, especially with absentee ballots. The Charlotte Observer pointed out that Todd Johnson, who Dowless worked for in the 2016 Republican primary, won 98 percent of Bladen’s absentee vote despite finishing third overall. In this year’s primary, Harris did nearly as well with 96 percent. Harris defeated Pittenger by only 828 votes in the primary so it is possible that absentee ballot fraud may have affected the outcome of that election as well.

Dowless has not responded to calls from new organizations but did deny any wrongdoing to the Charlotte Observer.

At this point, a resolution to the Bladen County absentee scandal is uncertain. The US Attorney is conducting an investigation and the Board of Elections will hold a hearing on or before Dec. 21. The board could call for a new election with the same candidates, including Libertarian Jeff Scott, who won just under two percent of the vote. If the state certifies the original election results, the House may also refuse to seat Harris. In that case, an entirely new election with new primaries would be held.

While this one congressional district won’t decide the fate of the House, it underscores the depth of the blue wave that Republicans would probably have lost another seat in a district that hasn’t gone Democrat since 1963 if a shady staffer hadn’t harvested hundreds of illegal votes. It is very possible that when the dust clears the Democrats will have added another Republican scalp to their midterm trophies.

The Bladen County scandal also undercuts the Republican message about ballot security and voter ID laws. The fact that Republicans appear to have paid for absentee votes and possibly discarded ballots containing votes for the Democratic candidate makes a mockery of the party’s planks calling for election security and voter verification. Republican efforts have concentrated on voter ID laws, but absentee ballots typically don’t require verification of identity.

Candidate Makes Dead Voters Into A Campaign Ad

Buzz Brockway, a state representative who is running to be the next Georgia Secretary of State, came out with an amusing campaign ad regarding voter fraud.

While working away at his desk, Brockway is seen denying a zombie’s application to vote.  Interestingly, the zombie appears to be a supporter of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

As hilarious as the campaign ad is, it focuses on a systemic election issue.

Dead voters did not sway the presidential election last year, but enough instances of voter participation by people who passed away long ago are enough to warrant attention to voter fraud. We hear of examples every two years.

An investigation by a local Colorado news outlet found extensive numbers of residents in the state — people who died not just months ago, but years ago — voting in subsequent elections following their passing. One local Colorado woman, Sara Sosa of Colorado Springs who died in 2009, had cast ballots in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 — eliminating any possibility that her case was a simple clerical error, but a case of malicious voter fraud. That single investigation uncovered 78 dead people still eligible to vote in the state.

The numbers are much higher in other parts of the country.

Reporters in southern California discovered 265 eligible dead voters in the area, the vast majority of them located in Los Angeles County alone. 212 deceased voters in the county were listed as eligible to vote and had the potential to participate in the 2016 election. Despite being dead as can be, records indicated many of these people voted not just once beyond the grave, but year after year.

These numbers around the country can add up, especially when we look at the increasingly narrow margins of victories in swing states.

An analysis by Judicial Watch and National Review reveal 462 counties in the United States where the registration rate surpassed 100 percent — something that should obviously be impossible. There were 3,551,760 more individuals registered to vote than voting-age U.S. citizens who reside in the flagged counties.

Georgia, typically considered a noncompetitive state, saw itself thrust into the national spotlight during Democrat Jon Ossoff’s failed (but competitive) bid to replace longtime Republican congressman Tom Price. That special election to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District included Fulton County. The report revealed that this voter-rich county in the state at an 108-percent registration rate — a number that should raise alarms for anyone who cares about the democratic process.

Unfortunately, as the 2018 elections heat up and voters once again begin to pay attention to political campaigns and their messages, not much attention will be given to candidates for secretary of state. As Americans who care immeasurably about our free and fair elections, however, we should give extra focus to secretaries of state — the office holders most responsible for keeping order in the voting process.

Kudos to Brockway for running on such a theme.

Russians Hacked 39 States During Election

Newly released details of Russian cyberattacks indicate that the Russian hacking during the election was far more widespread than previously indicated. Sources within the investigation reported that Russian cyberattacks hit at least 39 states. The hackers accessed software used by poll workers and at least one state’s voter database. The extent of the attacks raises concerns about the integrity of future elections since Russia has also been implicated in hacking other elections including the recent French presidential voting.

 

The recent revelations were made to Bloomberg Politics by three people with direct knowledge of the US investigation. The details released to Bloomberg come on the heels of the report leaked by Reality Winner, a contract employee of the NSA. The classified NSA report revealed that Russian hackers traced to the GRU, Russian military intelligence, had targeted US companies that provide software for voting machines.

 

The Bloomberg report states that the hackers tried to alter or delete voter registration data in Illinois in addition to the “spear phishing” attacks that compromised the emails at the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. Russian hackers were trying to take over the computers of 122 election officials shortly before the election.

 

The sources report that Illinois was considered “Patient Zero” for the investigation. The state gave federal investigators almost full access to its election computer systems. Unauthorized access to systems at the state board of elections was detected as early as July 2016 and as many as 90,000 voter records in the state database were compromised with personal information on voters such as names, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, birth dates and gender.

 

The sophistication and sheer number of the attacks prompted the Obama Administration to complain directly to the Kremlin via the hotline between Washington and Moscow. In October, the US reportedly used a back channel to provide evidence of Russian complicity to the Kremlin and threatened that continued hacking could lead to an expanded conflict. The hacking continued up to the election.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any involvement by the Russian government in the cyberattacks. Earlier this month, Putin suggested that the hacking might have been carried out by “patriotic hackers” not connected to the Russian government.

 

During the election, the federal government did not have jurisdiction over state election systems. Some states cooperated with federal counterintelligence operations, but others did not. Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, proposed in August 2016 that election systems be considered a critical national infrastructure, which would give the federal government more latitude in protecting state systems from cyberattacks. Ultimately, partisan disagreements meant that the designation was not made until January 2017.

 

There were hints of the Russian hacking revealed prior to the election, but Bloomberg reports that the Obama Administration kept the full scope of the attacks from the public. The government feared that the full truth would undermine public confidence in the election.

 

The claims of Russian hacking have become a source of amusement for many conservatives, but the recent revelations show the frightening extent of Russian interference in a core function of American democracy. So far there is no evidence that Russians were able to manipulate votes or voter rolls, but it was not for lack of trying.

 

And it probably isn’t over. Former FBI Director James Comey warned the Senate Intelligence Committee in his testimony, “They’re coming after America. They will be back.”

North Carolina Stands as a Sober Illustration of the Need For Voter ID Laws

Four months before the 2016 general election, activist judges with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned voter ID laws in the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina lawmakers insisted that the laws were put into place to prevent voter fraud. The three-judge panel, however, exercised the soft bigotry of low expectations that liberals tend to extend to minorities, who, for all their posturing, they still see as incapable of competing on the same level as their Caucasian counterparts. They determined that by asking minorities to show ID, the state of North Carolina was trying to suppress the minority vote.

After the election, the state saw nearly every Republican in the running win their races, including Donald Trump, who won the state easily.

However, the very successful one-term governor, Pat McCrory, saw a 52,000 vote lead suddenly dwindle and give way to a skin-tight loss at the very end of the night, when Democrat stronghold, Durham County turned in 94,000 votes with only a few minutes before the midnight hour.

McCrory asked for a recount, and the reports of foul play began to pop up all over the state.

One for instance was over 200 students with Duke University in Durham County registered to vote, all using the same address.

When the address was checked, it was an empty gravel parking lot.

Others reported being turned away from the polls, because someone had already voted in their place.

Yet, over and over, the State Board of Elections rejected calls to investigate these troubling accounts, nor would they order a full recount of the vote.

The Washington Free Beacon recently reported on other irregularities found after an audit was recently completed.

The post-election audit report, released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), an independent and bipartisan agency that oversees elections in the state, found hundreds of illegal votes, including votes cast by felons and non-citizens, double voting, voter impersonation, and irregularities that affected mail-in absentee ballots.

The audit uncovered 441 cases where suspected active felons voted during the 2016 elections.

These are the kinds of shenanigans that North Carolina’s General Assembly was hoping to stave off with their voter ID laws.

In other cases:

A separate investigation using state and federal databases identified non-citizens suspected of voting in the election. The NCSBE said 41 voters acknowledged they were not U.S. citizens after receiving a letter from the board of elections. The non-citizen voters came from 28 different countries.

An additional 61 voters did not respond to NCSBE’s letter. Investigations into these cases are ongoing.

“A number of non-citizens said they were not aware that they were prohibited from voting,” the report states. “Interviews and evidence show that some non-citizens were misinformed about the law by individuals conducting voter registration drives or, in at least one document case, by a local precinct official.”

Unbelievable.

“Some violators appear to be ‘testers’ trying to find holes in the system,” the audit says. “Others claim property ownership in multiple jurisdictions should allow them to vote in each, and others brush past the law to support their candidate by any means necessary. Additionally, a case that initially appears to be a double voter—an individual who votes twice—may actually be a case of voter impersonation—an individual who casts a ballot using the identity of another person.”

I’ve actually heard people tell of standing in line to vote and hearing people admit to having voted multiple times.

In fact, it’s quite easy, without the hindrance of voter ID to slow you down. All you need is a name and an address. If they’re not checking ID, they have no way of knowing you’re not who you say you are or the address you give isn’t the place you call home.

The NCSBE is continuing its investigation of voting irregularities in the 2016 elections and will refer the cases to prosecutors where necessary.

Well, that’s great, but it’s a dramatic departure from the behavior of the Board when Governor McCrory was fighting for his seat in the aftermath of a hard fought election, with a shocking ending.

The behavior of the NCSBE and various county election boards was nothing short of malpractice.

The worst part may be that the Board, along with every county Board of Elections had a Republican majority, but for the sake of expedience, they chose to ignore or brush aside the myriad reports and concerns of voter fraud and trickery within the state.

If there is anything to be salvaged from this, is that this audit confirms what so many came forward and attempted to have the NCSBE look into. It also vividly illustrates the need for commonsense voter ID laws in every state.

Until that happens, there is no way to truly trust the integrity of the voting system in this nation.

White House Quietly Moves Away From Voter Fraud Investigation

Remember President Trump’s claim that there was massive voter fraud in the election? The controversy goes back to a Nov. 27 tweet in which then-President-elect Trump said, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” The claim resurfaced in January as Trump claimed that 3-5 million people had voted illegally and promised a “major investigation” into the fraud.

That was about a week ago. How’s the investigation been going since then? About as well as O.J. Simpson’s search for the real killer.

CNN reports that the investigation seems to have faded away with little fanfare. Citing an official in the Trump Administration, the report says that the investigation is not dead, but is no longer a top priority.

A week ago, it seemed an Executive Order detailing the investigation was imminent, now the source says, “I think there will be something signed, but I don’t think it will be now.”

Voter fraud of 3-5 million votes would represent about three percent of votes cast in the election. If there is evidence that fraud on such a massive scale occurred, it should be a high priority for the Justice Department. Such fraud, if it existed, would undermine the integrity of the entire election process.

In reality, state elections officials, many of them Republican, say that there is no evidence of fraud on the scale that Trump claimed. The author of Pew study on voter fraud cited by Trump, tweeted, “As I’ve noted before, voting integrity better [was] in this election than ever before. Zero evidence of fraud.”

The Trump Administration’s quiet abandonment of the voter fraud investigation fits his pattern of making outlandish claims and then quietly abandoning them. It is a pattern that we will probably see more of over the next four years.

About That Voter Fraud…

It really is pretty amazing.  In the less than one week since taking over, the Trump administration has managed to get the mainstream media to set their hair on fire after almost every single White House press briefing.  After shocking reporters by not following the tradition of first calling on the AP, Trump got reporters to chase their tails for days fact checking the “issue” of whether or not his inauguration had the biggest viewership in history.  It’s as if Donald Trump is a bright, shiny object and the media can’t help but take off after him.

In that, he kind of reminds me of that SNL bit where Phil Hartman plays Ronald Reagan as a harmless dolt in public, while behind the scenes he’s a genius puppet master pulling everybody’s strings.  Whatever bait he wants to throw out, Trump knows the media is gonna take it.

Which brings us to this business about voter fraud.  Trump is now claiming that illegally cast votes may well be what gave Hillary Clinton her popular vote margin.  Of course, given that we’re talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million votes, the chance of this being true is highly unlikely.  But instead of just laughing Trump off, what do the media do?  They cry, “Scandal!” and let slip the dogs of bore.

Would that they have been so frisky when Barack Obama told everyone if they liked their insurance plan, they could keep it.

As you’d expect, this has led to a slew of experts unleashed on the cable talk shows to discuss how outrageous Trump’s claim really is–and guess what?  People are now talking about voter fraud!  An issue that the left claimed isn’t a big deal is now front and center.  Even better, it’s led the Trump administration to say it just might launch an investigation!  If that happens, my guess is that what James O’Keefe found in those Project Vertitas videos will only be the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks, media!

Of course, the media still think that they have the dope here, as they’ve discovered that Trump’s Two Steves (Mnuchin, who’s been nominated to head up the Treasury Department, and Bannon, the White House chief strategist) are both registered to vote in two states.  But as even the linked article states, that ain’t illegal (and isn’t even unusual for people who live and work in different states)–and in the absence of proof that either actually voted in two states, the story amounts to a nothingburger with fries, ketchup on the side.  Better luck next time, guys.

In the meanwhile, though, Trump keeps on a-signin’ those executive orders, chipping away at Obama’s legacy one glorious brick at a time, all while the media wait for the next outrageous thing to pop out of his Twitter feed.

If this keeps up, it’s going to be a very entertaining four years.

Is There Really No Evidence Of Voter Fraud?

Today is the day to pick on the Washington Post (because it ends with a “y”). Here WaPo is the quintessential example of press reaction to President Trump’s tweets that he will ask for an investigation into “VOTER FRAUD.”

Mockery. Tut-tutting. Guffaws.

Trump continues to face scrutiny, along with some mockery, for insisting during a private reception with congressional leaders on Monday that there were between 3 million and 5 million ballots illegally cast in the election, allowing his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to win the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes, although she lost the electoral college vote to Trump. The president and his aides have yet to provide any verifiable facts to back up his claim, and analyses of the election found virtually no confirmed cases of voter fraud, let alone millions.

The press keeps saying that the claims are unsupported, unverified, and at the same time, debunked.

They cite others who say there’s no evidence.

“We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump, but we are open to learning more about the administration’s concerns,” the National Association of Secretaries of State said in a statement.

Well, which is it? Is it that there’s no evidence, or that there’s evidence, and it’s debunked? Or is it that there’s evidence and the press doesn’t like it? Or is it that unless this is Russian hacking that supports the assertion that Trump stole the presidency, they don’t want it investigated? (Bing, bing, bing!)

But there is some evidence that at least some non-citizens have voted illegally. It could be a substantial number. The problem is that these non-citizens tend to either use stolen identities, or otherwise conceal the fact that they’re illegal.

This is proven by a 2013 study published in the journal Demographic Research, which compared Census Bureau survey data on citizenship to the number of naturalized citizens recorded by the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics. The study found that certain major groups of immigrants—including Mexican men of all ages, Mexican women aged 40 and older, and immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than five years—frequently misrepresent themselves as citizens.

As a worst-case example, the study found that “the number of naturalized Mexican men with fewer than five years of U.S. residence is nearly 27 times higher” in the Census data than the number recorded by the Office of Immigration Statistics. In other words, only about 4% of Mexican men who claim to be citizens and have been in the United States for less than five years are actually citizens.

There’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence from law enforcement.

Appearing on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” retired ICE Special-Agent-In-Charge Claude Arnold spoke of how easy it is for illegal immigrants to get forged documents in America — the popular option being a “three-pack,” which includes a counterfeit work authorization card, drivers license and Social Security card.

The going rate for a three-pack ranges from $120-$300 and can be acquired the same day as purchased, Arnold explained.

Illegal immigrants can then register to vote and many do, he added.

“I’ve worked in six locations across the United States. I’ve probably arrested more than a thousand illegal aliens in my career and I routinely encounter people in possession of voter registration cards.”

Regardless of whether you believe the evidence, you cannot argue that certain groups like La Raza certainly promote the idea of illegals voting.

The pro-amnesty Hispanic activist organization the National Council of La Raza helpfully promoted a Washington Post article explaining which states people can vote in without having to use a photo ID.

“Voter ID laws are at-issue across the country, with newly Republican-controlled legislatures having passed them in numerous states after the 2010 election,” explained The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake. “Most states still request some form of ID, but don’t require it. Another 20 states don’t require identification. In case you’re wondering where your state is at in all of this, a helpful (sic) graphic from the Post’s graphics team.”

The Obama administration consistently refused to make the slightest effort to investigate any claims of voter fraud. They claimed, without verifiable evidence, may I add, that illegal voting is simply not a problem. Then they pushed to ensure that no–even reasonable–countermeasures to prevent it from becoming a problem should be put in place.

Up to Obama’s last day in office, he continued to promote the fact that any barrier to anyone (legal or not) voting was unacceptable to him. (He, with rather disgusting smugness, linked it specifically and exclusively to Jim Crow and slavery as if that were the only possible explanation.)

There’s absolutely zero reason that anyone should oppose Trump requesting an investigation into what Obama refused to even consider. That is, unless someone is afraid of what the investigation will find.