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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement is currently investigating accusations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, where the GOP candidate, controversial Charlotte Baptist pastor Mark Harris, defeated Democratic Marine veteran and green energy investor Dan McCready by just 905 votes. So far, the details of that investigation have been mostly unknown, other than that it concerns problems with absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson Counties, and might implicate Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation vice chairman Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr.

Now, new details are coming to light from an investigation by WSOC Channel 9, that implicate Harris and Dowless in a potentially illegal scheme to collect absentee ballots:

What Channel 9 found appears to be a targeted effort to illegally pick up ballots, in which even the person picking them up had no idea whether those ballots were even delivered to the elections board.

Consistently, Channel 9 found the same people signing as witnesses for the people voting, which is very rare.

The investigation found that out of 159 ballots obtained by Channel 9, just eight people had acted as witnesses, and three of those people witnessed over 40 ballots apiece. Furthermore, one witness, Ginger Eason, told Channel 9 that she was paid $75 to $100 for her efforts and instructed to tell voters about Harris and Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, and that “That’s who [Dowless] was working for.” Eason also said that she gave the ballots directly to Dowless, rather than mailing them in, and admitted she doesn’t know what happened to them after she dropped them off:

The described scheme to pay ballot harvesters to deliver absentee ballots directly to a campaign strategist is illegal. Moreover, Eason’s claim that Dowless was working for the Harris campaign matches an affidavit submitted to the Board of Elections by a voter who overheard people at a polling station remarking that Dowless would be paid a $40,000 bonus if Harris won the election. Taken together, this evidence is incredibly damning.

According to Daily Kos Elections, the number of absentee ballots cast for Harris in Bladen and Robeson Counties are more than enough to have swung the result of the election. However, North Carolina state law does not actually require the Board of Elections to prove the fraud scheme was decisive in the outcome in order to throw out the election and order a new one.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.


Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)