The board looked into absentee ballot irregularities, the disclosure of early voting results and election security. They found that 595 people failed to return absentee ballots in Bladen County and another 1,493 people failed to do so in Robeson County, a significant number considering the narrow margin separating the two candidates.
…Lisa Britt said that she was paid to collect absentee ballots in the 2018 election by McCrae Dowless, a political operative hired by consultants for Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris.
Britt said some of the ballots she collected were unsealed and uncompleted and testified she filled out the options left blank for Republican candidates — an admission of vote tampering that violates North Carolina law.
…The investigation is centered around a key figure, Dowless, who was hired by the Red Dome Consulting Group for a “get-out-the-vote” operation for the Harris campaign, which paid Red Dome for its services.
Strach revealed that Red Dome paid Dowless $131,375 for the 2018 primary and general election, including $83,693 for the general election.
According to testimony Monday, Dowless had two components to his operation — collecting absentee ballot applications and then collecting the actual ballots. He and those he hired collected at least 788 ballot requests in Bladen County and 231 in neighboring Robeson county, according to investigation findings.
…Britt, a convicted felon on probation who admitted to voting in the 2018 election despite being barred from doing so in North Carolina, is Dowless’ step-daughter. She said they have a very close father-daughter relationship, but she testified against Dowless, saying that she did simply what he directed her to do.
“I didn’t think my father would send me out to do anything illegal,” Britt said.