EDITORIAL: GOP’s pivot on NC voter fraud

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President Trump campaigns with Republican congressional candidates Ted Budd (right) and Mark Harris in Charlotte on Oct. 26. (screenshot)

Turns out, despite many, many arguments to the contrary made in this very space, there actually was some large-scale election fraud in North Carolina.

It’s been blasted all over the national media: In North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, an extraordinary number of irregularities occurred concerning absentee ballots, each one in the end favoring the GOP candidate, Mark Harris, who at last count was ahead by just 905 votes over Democrat candidate Dan McCready.

Among the irregularities: In Bladen County, hundreds of absentee ballots went missing. Some were never turned in. Some were collected by operatives from the Harris campaign.

The NC Board of Elections will not name a winner in the race until its investigation is through; the board’s Democratic chairman, Andy Penry, has resigned.

And once again, North Carolina’s particular brand of dysfunctional politics becomes a national punchline.

Predictably, state GOP operatives are pushing to seat Harris, chief among them Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse, who told the Washington Post that “hundreds of thousands of legal voters would be disenfranchised and 750,000 people would be denied representation in Congress” were Harris to be denied.

But Democrats in the House, who now have a majority, have said they will not seat Harris until they are satisfied with the election results.

And once again, North Carolina’s particular brand of dysfunctional politics becomes a national punchline.

We have shown, in the last eight years, an inability to draw fair districts; a willingness to disenfranchise our black, Latinx and LGBT citizens; a determination to politicize the UNC System, once the envy of the rest of the nation; a fundamental ignorance of the concept of sea rise, and the effects of coal-ash and hog waste on our environment; and… what else… oh yes, an effort to hijack our state constitution by voter referendum — which mostly worked, by the way.

And now we demonstrate that we are no longer able to hold fair elections — though, really, everybody knew that when we were forced, this year, to vote on Congressional districts that had already been declared illegal.

The whole thing forces one to wonder about the North Carolina Republicans’ clarion call against voter fraud, which they claimed was rampant enough to warrant a voter ID law — though this sort of voter fraud would not have been thwarted by the new law.

One might also think that the GOP would feel vindicated at actually finding some voter fraud. That they are not is the most disturbing piece of it all.

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