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The #NC09 evidentiary hearing has started @wsoctv
Before the hearing starts, Republican NCSBE members Ken Raymond and David Black disclose they have known Andy Yates for a number of years #NC09 @wsoctv
Dan McCready is represented by Marc Elias. Mark Harris is represented by David Freedman #NC09
NCSBE will now present an overview of the testimony they expect today. NCSBE will present its evidence and witnesses. Parties will be able to cross examine witnesses. McCready campaign will follow, then Harris. #NC09
NCSBE staff says evidence will show a coordinated unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme operated in the 2018 election in Bladen and Robeson Counties #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
NCSBE interviewed 142 voters, 30 witnesses and subpoenaed financial records and phone records #NC09
NCSBE Executive Director Kim Strach says staff looked at absentee by mail irregularities in Bladen and Robeson, disclosure of early voting results in Bladen and office security in Bladen #NC09
NCSBE Executive Director Kim Strach stresses only a voter or a voter's near relatie can return the ballot to the Board of Elections or mail the ballot.

"That is because we are so concerned about the security of the vote." #NC09
NEW: NCSBE executive director says McCrae Dowless hired workers he paid workers to collect absentee ballot request forms, collect absentee ballots and to falsify absentee ballot witness certifications. #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
Phase 1: NCSBE ED Kim Strach says Dowless workers would obtain absentee ballot request forms from voters--- they provided them to him for payment-- the forms were photocopied and maintained at his office-- and then delivered to BOE by Dowless or workers #NC09
Phase 2: NCSBE ED Kim Strach says Dowless would violate the law by paying workers to collect absentee ballots. Absentee ballots were collected from voters with no or one witness signing and sometime unsealed.
Phase 2 cont- Dowless held ballots at his home and office. He instructed workers to falsify as witnesses. Blank ballots were completed at his home or office #NC09
NCSBE says small batches of ballots were taken to the post office geographically close. There were efforts to make sure the same color ink was used by witnesses. Ensuring stamps were not turned in a way on the envelope that was a red flag #NC09
NCSBE says Red Dome paid Dowless $131,275 between July 3 2017- November 7 2018. General Election payments to Dowless from Red Dome between June 8 2018- November 2018 $83,693 #NC09 #ncpol
McCrae Dowless looks on as NCSBE presents evidence #NC09
NCSBE says results were tabulated on November 3 and early voting personnel working at the site had access to the results. But they have no information on whether they divulged those results to anyone outside of the early voting site #NC09
NCSBE says the Bladen County Board of Elections office was not secure. Here is a previous story I did about some of the weaknesses of the office: wsoctv.com/news/local/vic…
Kim Strach says efforts were made to obstruct the investigation and testimony #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
We are on a 10 minute break. Witnesses are being called by NCSBE next
Some big things just presented:

NCSBE says:

- McCrae Dowless ran a coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme
- Dowless paid people to falsify absentee ballot request forms, falsify witness certifications and to pick up ballots-- all illegal (1/2)
NCSBE says:

- Efforts were made to obstruct this investigation and testimony
- Dowless was paid $131K by Red Dome
- Early voting results were tabulated on November 3rd
- Bladen BOE was not secure #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv (2/2)
NCSBE says McCrae Dowless took these steps to hide these actions #NC09 @wsoctv
The first witness is Lisa Britt #NC09 #ncpol
Whoa- Lisa Britt says she lied in a TV interview with another CLT station. She says she did the interview in McCrae Dowless' kitchen. In the interview she said she didn't go around collecting absentee ballots or doing anything illegal. She said she viewed him as a father figure
Lisa Britt says McCrae was present for the interview #NC09
Lisa Britt is currently on probation for a felony offense. She says she voted in November. She says she had a conversation with McCrae about how she was a convicted felon and going to vote in the Nov election #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
Lisa Britt says she started working for McCrae Dowless in June or July 2018. She says he was working for Mark Harris and Jim McVicker. She wasn't aware what they were paying him #NC09
Lisa Britt says on some absentee ballot request forms, she and Dowless' staff would pre-fill out the forms and have them sign them. She says the information came from previous elections #NC09
Lisa Britt says people working for Dowless to get absentee ballot requests include Jennifer Boyd, Tracy Cook, Jim Singletary and Woody Hester. Britt worked Bladen and Columbus. Boyd worked Robeson #nc09 @wsoctv
Lisa Britt says she was paid by the amount of people registered for absentee ballot request forms. For every 50, she and her partner would get $150-$175 #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
Britt says she would take the request forms back to the office. She would copy them and put them in a folder. The originals were given to Dowless. She did not personally deliver the request forms to BOE. She gave them to Dowless so she could be paid #NC09
In addition to copying her own absentee ballot requests, Lisa Britt says she made copies for others-- Lola Wooten and another gentleman--- she pointed him out in the crowd, he stood but did not identify him #NC09
Lola Wooten was in McCrae Dowless' office once a week according to Britt. The copies were separate from what Dowless made. Wooten has ties to the Bladen County Improvement Association #NC09
Lisa Britt says McCrae Dowless paid her to collect absentee ballots, an act illegal in NC. She says she picked up ballots that did not have witnesses. Britt thinks it was $125 for 50 ballots. #NC09
Lisa Britt says she wasn't aware that in 2016 there was a similar controversy with McCrae Dowless having people pick up absentee ballots #NC09
Lisa Britt says she was never told by McCrae Dowless to not touch the absentee ballots #NC09
Mark Harris looks on as Lisa Britt testifies #NC09 @wsoctv
Emma Shipman’s ballot is exhibit one of evidence. Britt answering questions about it now #NC09
Britt says Shipman and her niece filled out the ballot. Britt says she took the signed, sealed ballot with her. She took her ballot and others to McCrae Dowless.
Then she says Horace Munn contacted Dowless and told him to bring the ballot back to Shipman. Lisa Britt did that. She said a week went past between when she originally picked up the ballot and when she brought it back to Shipman #NC09
Lisa Britt said she was also told to return two other ballots to voters. She says it is because they worked for Jeff Smith-- who had a falling out with McCrae #NC09
Lisa Britt says James Singletary signed Emma Shipman’s absentee ballot envelope at McCrae Dowless’ house- not in front of Shipman #NC09
We are on a 10 minute break. When we come back, NCSBE will introduce exhibit two of evidence #NC09 @wsoctv
To recap:

Lisa Britt says she lied when she told a reporter that she didn't pick up absentee ballots, which is illegal in NC. She says she was paid in cash for her work. She also says even though she is a felon, she voted in the November election #NC09 @wsoctv
We're back y'all #NC09
Evidence 2 is James Shipman’s absentee ballot request form. She says she filled it out- it is her handwriting. She says they had his info because he voted in a previous election #NC09
Lisa Britt says she did not sign the form as him-- but NCSBE says the man whose form was signed is dead. NCSBE is questioning now who signed it #NC09
Lisa Britt admits she collected unsealed ballots-- she says she collected 1 that was 100% unsealed. She admits she peaked at the ballot to see who they voted for. On the ballot she peaked at, the person voted for straight democrats. #NC09
WHOA- Lisa Britt says Dowless and team would fill in ballots if they were unsealed and races were left blank. #NC09
Britt says she would vote republican on the blank races #NC09
In addition to her and Dowless, Ginger Eason also marked blank ballots according to Britt #NC09
All collected ballots were delivered to McCrae Dowless' office or home, according to Lisa Britt. She thinks Dowless kept the ballots on a "shelf thing" so her two and four year olds didn't get a hold of them #NC09 @wsoctv
Because Lisa Britt and James Singletary witnessed so many ballots, a red flag was raised according to Britt. Britt admits she then signed her mom's name on the ballots. Dowless was present when this occurred #NC09
Lisa Britt says McCrae Dowless and she mailed ballots into the Board of Elections. She says they dropped ballots off at post offices near the houses. She says they only mailed 9 or 10 at a time. Dowless didn't want a red flag raised by the BOE #NC09
Exhibit 3 is the absentee applications turned in Bladen. Britt says she recognizes McCrae Dowless, Jessica Dowless and Lola Wooten’s names #NC09
Lisa Britt says Dowless wanted the voter and witness signatures to be the same color ink- her is an example where one was traced over, she says #NC09
Another exhibit- Lisa Britt says she collected Roland Smith’s ballot. It had no witness signatures when she collected it #NC09
This exhibit shows Ted (Rolland) Smith turned the ballot in himself. Britt says Dowless told him to do so and he gave Smith the ballot back. She doesn’t know why #NC09
The exhibit also shows Chris Eason’s name on here. Britt says Chris’ sister Ginger filled out Chris’ ballot out in Britt’s vehicle #NC09
Lisa Britt says she doesn't know how many times she picked up ballots, she thinks she signed as a witness 48 times but has never verified #NC09
In addition to Ginger Eason, Britt says she collected ballots with Jennifer Boyd #NC09
Also collecting ballots according to Britt: Kelly Hendricks (possibly in the primary), a woman named Rhonda, Woody Hester, Jimmy Singletary #NC09
NEW- Lisa Britt says she has met Mark Harris several times. She says she never told him about their efforts. “I think he was completely clueless about what was going on.”
NEW- Based on conversations she overheard, Lisa Britt thinks Andy Yates (Red Dome founder hired by Harris) knew what was going on. She says she would overhear Dowless telling him on the phone how many Harris has and how many the other side has #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
Britt says Dowless's relationship with Lola Wooten (with Bladen Co Improvement PAC) was to know how many votes they have and how many votes his candidates needed #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
Lisa Britt says after certification was withheld, Dowless had a meeting at his home with him, Singletary and Woody Hester. He said according to Britt, "as long as we stick together we will be fine." #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
Britt says Dowless told them to not admit to collecting ballots #NC09
NEW: McCrae Dowless provided Lisa Britt with this letter last Thursday. This is what he wanted her to say at the hearing today Britt says: “I can tell you that I haven’t done anything wrong... and McCrae has never told me to do anything wrong.” #NC09 @wsoctv
Lisa Britt says she believes McCrae Dowless did something wrong. She ends with, I think there is one innocent man here who got caught up in this- Mark Harris. Photos taken as she was saying this #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
And we are on an 1:30 lunch break. Wow, what a morning #NC09
Adding this interview with Dowless’ attorney to the thread. I also questioned Andy Yates as he left but he did not comment #NC09
We uploaded NCSBE's presentation from the beginning of the hearing. The presentation outlines what NCSBE says they found during the investigation #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv mediaweb.wsoctv.com/document_dev/2…
We’re back. Dan McCready’s attorney @marceelias is now questioning Lisa Britt #NC09
Lisa Britt says McCrae Dowless never told her who he worked for in past elections #NC09
Lisa Britt says she never redacted any personal information from the copies she made #NC09
Lisa Britt admits to voting on other people's ballots that were left blank. She says they were picked up by other people. "We were doing what we were paid to do." Britt says she knew it was wrong and illegal. #NC09
Lisa Britt says she was told by McCrae Dowless to make sure the date and pen ink were the same on the ballots. This was done to conceal from the election officials that something fishy was going on #NC09
Lisa Britt says she trusted McCrae Dowless. She viewed him as a father figure #NC09
Lisa Britt says she doesn't know for a fact whether McCrae Dowless turned in all of the ballots. She says she wouldn't know whether Dowless discarded ballots #NC09 @wsoctv
Lisa Britt says Emma Shipman's niece handed her Shipman's signed, sealed ballot at the door. Shipman's affidavit says the ballot was handed to Britt unsealed and unsigned #NC09
Lisa Britt says she doesn't know if Emma Shipman filed a compliant and if that compliant is what caused McCrae Dowless to instruct her to give the ballot back #NC09
Lisa Britt says she did not pick up Datesha Montgomery's ballot but she can't recall whether she helped her request an absentee ballot #NC09
Some very testy exchanges between Lisa Britt and Marc Elias
Lisa Britt: "for all I know, McCrae Dowless was paying you" she says to Marc Elias, making the point she doesn't know who Dowless was paying #NC09
Lisa Britt says she met Andy Yates once. She says Yates came down to Bladen County around the same time as Harris after the hurricane #NC09
Lisa Britt says McCrae Dowless spoke to Andy Yates on the phone frequently. She isn't sure what all of the conversations were about. Calls took place early in the morning #NC09 @wsoctv
Lisa Britt says she was with her mom and her kids when she found out Mark Harris won #NC09
After the investigation was launched, Lisa Britt says Dowless told her, James Singletary, Jennifer Boyd and Woody Hester to stick together. The meeting lasted about 5 or 10 minutes. Britt doesn't remember if anyone else said anything in the meeting, she cites her kids #NC09
Lisa Britt says she has leaked no documents to the news #NC09
Lisa Britt says she didn't prepare for this testimony, she just came in here "and told the truth" #NC09
Lisa Britt says she did not think her father (McCrae Dowless) would send her to do anything illegal #NC09
NEW: In conclusion, Lisa Britt says she does not think the election was fair and her activities cast doubt on the fairness of the election #NC09 @wsoctv
Mark Harris' attorney is up now. He is questioning Lisa Britt
Lisa Britt says Lola Wooten was not working for McCrae Dowless-- Wooten was working for the Bladen Improvement PAC and working for democratic candidates. Britt says Dowless and Wooten would meet and share information. She says they were trying to stay off each other's turf #NC09
Lisa Britt says she picked up about 35-40 absentee ballots. About half were properly witnessed #NC09
Lisa Britt says she has never heard Lonnie Bullard talk like the language that is in her affidavit #NC09
NCSBE Chair Bob Cordle will not allow Harris' attorney to ask Lisa Britt whether it is appropriate to withhold certification, or whether it is fair to the voters of the 9th District #NC09 @wsoctv
NEW- Lisa Britt says it would not be fair to punish Mark Harris for her conduct #NC09
Lisa Britt says she voted republican on other people's blank ballots because she was working for republicans. She can't remember what seats they were for #NC09
Lisa Britt, who appeared on her own will and did not have an attorney, is excused. Next witness is Kelly Hendrix #NC09 @wsoctv
Kelly Hendrix is swaying in her chair. She admits she is nervous #NC09
Hendrix says she worked for McCrae Dowless during the 2016 and 2018 elections. As the executive director of NCSBE asks how she started working for him, Hendrix burst into tears #NC09
Hendrix says she was working at Hardees and was told Dowless could give her a ride to work. She says he resembled her dad. He was kind to her #NC09
Hendrix says she collected absentee ballot request forms and absentee ballots from voters. She says she always picked them up by herself #NC09
Hendrix says she would always deliver absentee ballots to McCrae Dowless. She says she was paid gas money for her actions. She doesn't know how much she made #NC09
Hendrix says the ballots she picked up and gave to McCrae Dowless only had her name as a witness. Later other people would sign to be the second witness despite not being present #NC09
Hendrix says she was asked by McCrae Dowless to sign as witnesses for ballots she did not collect #NC09
Kelly Hendrix doesn't know what McCrae Dowless did with the ballots after she gave them to him. She says all of the ballots were sealed. #NC09
Kelly Hendrix says she never assisted anyone with voting. She says she didn't help too much this election, only a handful of ballots #NC09
In her final statement, Hendrix says she knows most of the people she picked up ballots from. 10 minute break coming up #NC09 @wsoctv
The third witness is Sandra Dowless- she is Lisa Britt’s mom #NC09
Sandra Dowless was previously married to McCrae Dowless for a couple of years in the 90s. She lived at McCrae Dowless' home in 2018 while she was recovering from surgery #NC09
NEW- Sandra Dowless says she was in McCrae Dowless' house on April 8 when Dowless met with Jeff Smith about how he needed workers to help with his campaigns. #NC09
Sandra Dowless says this note was left behind at the meeting by Jeff Smith #NC09
NEW- Sandra Dowless says McCrae Dowless told Mark Harris he is way in the lead. Sandra says McCrae told him he went to the elections board and found out how many ballots were turned in #NC09
Something new we learned today- apparently McCrae Dowless always uses speakerphone. That’s how Sandra knew about the call with Mark Harris and Lisa Britt knew about the call with Andy Yates #NC09
Sandra Dowless says these numbers that McCrae was paid surprise her because “he didn’t ever have any money.” #NC09
Sandra Dowless says the reference to unsealed caught her attention regarding the convo between Smith and McCrae. Her testimony is finished. #NC09.
With the exception of Boosie and Presidents Day, all of the trends in Charlotte right now are #NC09 related
Stepping out of the meeting for a couple minutes to go live on @wsoctv with @AllisonWSOC9 at 5. Watch live here: wsoctv.com/live-stream
Next witness is Kimberly Robinson #NC09
Robinson turned in a blank ballot. She thinks Lisa Britt and Ginger Eason picked it up #NC09
Just stepped back into the meeting as Robinson wrapped up. NCSBE's next witness is Precious Hall #NC09
NCSBE is showing Hall her absentee ballot envelope. She says she recognizes the signature. She received the absentee ballot but didn't request it. Hall says Lola Woote and Sandra Goins collected her ballot #NC09
Harris' attorney is asking Hall who she voted for. McCready's attorney is objecting. Debate ensuing #NC09
Harris' attorney has withdrawn the question because it has been established Wooten was not working for the Harris campaign #NC09
Hall says Wooten and Sandra "Squeaky" Goins had no input on who she should vote for. She's all done. NCSBE is bringing up one more witness. We have a 5:45 stop time #NC09.
Cynthia Singletary says he has been subpoenaed to be at the hearing. She says he will not take the stand unless he is subpoenaed to testify #NC09
NCSBE is going into closed session to figure out the next move #NC09
Bold move by NCSBE to call Dowless as a witness at 5:20 when we were just told we have to be finished for the day by 5:45 #NC09 @wsoctv
They are coming back. Standby #nc09
NEW: NCSBE says state statute mandates if someone is compelled to testify, they are given immunity. The board is unwilling to give immunity to McCrae Dowless.

The Board has the right to take negative inferences about his decision to not testify.

Dowless NOT testifying @wsoctv
The Board subpoenaed him to be here. They wanted him to voluntarily take the stand-- so immunity would not be granted. Dowless refused to do so. He's done here #NC09
Lengthy gaggle with Cynthia Singletary. She maintains Dowless did nothing wrong. She says every witness has talked about his kindness and generosity. She says he would only testify under the right conditions but she wouldn’t say what those are #NC09 @wsoctv
Dan McCready’s attorney Marc Elias says he is disappointed McCrae Dowless wouldn’t take the stand #NC09 @wsoctv
Mark Harris' attorney, Alexander Dale, says he learned a lot of new things today.

"Things that completely contrary to what Dr Harris was told by McCrae Dowless and what McCrae Dowless' public statements have been." #NC09 #ncpol @wsoctv
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