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The North Carolina board of elections is beginning a public hearing to investigate allegations of illegal election activity in the state's congressional district. You can watch the hearing here:…
News: The director of the North Carolina board of elections said they believe they have evidence showing a "coordinated" and "substantial" unlawful absentee ballot scheme
Strach opens by detailing what @BowTiePolitics highlighted when the #nc09 controversy first started -- why did so many absentee ballots go unreturned in Bladen and Robeson Counties?
Strach says Dowless paid cast for absentee ballot requests, absentee ballots and to falsify signatures.
The state board's first witness is Lisa Britt, who signed as a witness on a very large number of absentee ballots
Britt says when she sat for an interview saying she didn't collect absentee ballots she was in the home of McCrae Dowless, who was watching.
Britt says her mother was married to Dowless a few decades ago and she still considers him her stepfather. He helped her if she ever needed anything, she said. Says she doesn't want to get him, or anyone else, in trouble.
Lisa Britt says she voted in November even though she was on probation for a felony offense in November. North Carolina requires felons to complete probation before they can vote again. Britt's vote was illegal if she was on probation in November.
Britt says Dowless and his team pre-filled out information for absentee ballot request forms. She says Bladen County is very poor and they were trying to help as many people vote as possible.
Britt says she was paid between $150 and $175 for every 50 absentee request forms she got.
Britt says, at the instruction of Dowless, she would fill in smaller races that were left blank (not congressional race). She says it was so the races left blank wouldn't raise red flags with the board of elections. They did this with unsealed ballots.
Britt says Dowless asked her to stop witnessing so many ballots because it might look suspicious.
She says she never marked a blank ballot, but saw someone else do so
Britt says she collected absentee ballots in Robeson County with a woman named Jennifer Boyd. She thinks Boyd kept the ballots (didn't give them to McCrae Dowless) and mailed them from Robeson County.
Britt says she does not think Mark Harris knew about absentee ballot work: "I think Mr. Harris was completely clueless to what was going on as far as I'm concerned." She says she's met Harris, but they never talked about absentee ballot work.
She said she believes Andy Yates, head of Red Dome Group -- consulting group paid by Harris -- may have known what was going on.
Britt says she didn't see how people voted and didn't try and sway people. It didn't matter how they voted, because they were getting paid based on volume, not who ppl voted for.
Britt says Dowless assembled workers after election and told them not to admit to collecting ballots
News: Britt says Dowless gave her this piece of paper on Thursday with instructions on how to testify. It tells Britt to plead the 5th amendment
Britt says she believes she did wrong, but she didn't know she did something wrong. Says she believes Dowless did something wrong. She says again Mark Harris is innocent and didn't know what was going on
Hearing is breaking now for lunch until 2 p.m.
Make that 1:30 p.m.
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