North Carolina State Board of Elections are holding hearings Monday and Tuesday that will decide the fate of the election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.
Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative in North Carolina paid workers to collect absentee ballots and falsify witness signatures for those ballots.
“Workers were allegedly paid $150 for every 50 absentee ballot request form collected and $125 for every 50 absentee ballots collected,” North Carolina State Elections Director Kim Strach said at the hearing.
During the opening of the hearing, Strach said the “scheme was coordinated and well resourced.”
Dowless former stepdaughter Lisa Britt told the board of elections that Dowless said “As long as we all stick together we’ll all be fine, because they don’t have anything on us.”
Dowless also gave Britt and other workers a paper telling them what to say during their testimony.
The paper read: “I can tell you that I haven’t done anything wrong in the election and McCrae Dowless has never told me to do anything wrong, and to my knowledge he has never done anything wrong, but I am taking the 5th Amendment because I don’t have an attorney and I feel like you will try to trip me up. I am taking the 5th.”
Britt also said she falsified ballots when she personally collected them and she worked with others to do the same.
Britt also said she thinks “Mr. Harris was completely clueless as to what was going on.”
Mark Harris currently leads Dan McCready by just 905 votes.
Republicans want officials to certify Harris as the winner, arguing that the alleged ballot scheme did not affect enough votes to swing the election to McCready.
Democrats are calling for a new election in the 9th District.
The News Observer has more minute by minute updates.