A North Carolina woman testified Monday that she illegally picked up and falsified absentee ballots in a 2018 congressional election under the direction of a political operative who was working on behalf of by the race’s Republican candidate.
In the first day of the North Carolina State Board of Elections hearing into election irregularities in the 9th District race, Lisa Britt detailed how the operation worked. The race is the last undecided contest from the 2018 midterm election and the North Carolina seat remains open amid allegations of fraud.
Britt said she was paid by operative Leslie McCrae Dowless, her former stepfather, to collect absentee ballots. Dowless was hired during the campaign as an operative for Republican Mark Harris. Britt testified that she did not believe Harris had any knowledge of the operation.
“I think you’ve got one innocent person in this whole thing who had no clue to what was going on, and he’s getting it really bad here — and that’s Mr. Mark Harris. And it’s terrible,” Britt said.
She stated she was paid $125 per 50 absentee ballots collected and $150 per 50 absentee ballots requested
Britt was the first witness called in what could be a three-day hearing that may decide the outcome of the election. The state board of elections voted not to certify the results in which Harris led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.
Britt also admitted that she signed absentee ballots as a witness when she did not witness the voter filling it out. She also said she forged her mother’s signature on between seven and nine ballots to “not raise red flags” that the same people were signed as witnesses on too many absentee ballots.
Britt said she did all of this under the instruction and often supervision of Dowless.
Previous statements from Dowless’ attorney have denied any illegal activity.
By Dianne Gallagher and Joey Hurst, CNN