But Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state GOP, has gone from claiming this was all a Democratic conspiracy to worrying over the mounting allegations and how they may hurt the party.
"I didn't serve overseas in the Marines to come home to NC and watch a criminal, bankrolled by my opponent, take away people's very right to vote", McCready tweeted.
In a filing made late Thursday night to the Federal Election Commission, the campaign of Republican Mark Harris of North Carolina, which has come under fire for possible absentee ballot fraud in the 2018 elections, listed a debt of $34,310 to an outside GOP consulting group which was tasked with absentee ballot work in Bladen County, the epicenter of fraud allegations in the race for North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District.
Dowless allegedly helped orchestrate a scheme to tamper with absentee ballots in Harris' favor.
"Clearly if what you reported is verified by the state board of elections ... there has to be a new election, and if ..." The board is meeting later this month to hear evidence, but it's unclear whether the race will be settled then. Mark Harris now has 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the congressional race, but state officials are hesitant to certify the results after Democrats are accusing their opponents of voter fraud.
However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the victor.
McCready, an Iraq War veteran who outraised Harris in the campaign, initially conceded the day after the election, when Harris' lead was less than 1,900 votes.
At issue is who can handle completed ballots.
Investigators have been seen in the field interviewing people who collected absentee ballots for Dowless, who was working for Red Dome on behalf of Harris. Sources told the Post that the state GOP "did little to scrutinize the results", and focused instead on the general election. Local Republicans point out that absentee ballots mostly favored Democrats, including Burton, in Robeson County, and the problems in Bladen didn't leak into this county.
As for Harris, he insists he supports an investigation into voter fraud, but that it won't change the outcome.
But U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who will become House majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January, has said Democrats will refuse to seat Harris unless and until "substantial" questions about the integrity of the election are resolved.
She said "any member-elect can object to the seating and the swearing-in of another member elect".
Highlighting the accusations in the rural North Carolina congressional district, Colbert told his viewers that Harris is a Baptist minister. But among those who filed discredited complaints to support McCrory was Leslie McCrae Dowless, the man now at the center of a ballot-fraud scandal under investigation by state election and law enforcement officials. Dowless's operation also appears to have targeted African-American voters, many of them elderly - a constituency that is typically hostile to Republican candidates.