The Republican’s response to the Harris Scandal in NC-09 has been a continual moving of the goalposts. As I mentioned yesterday, their initial reaction was a proper one of shock and a bit of dismay, even though Republican twitter screamed continuously, “But the Democrats!” Then, when the reality began to sink in, they changed their tune.
The only person who has been consistent is Mark Harris. He’s stayed on message throughout. He’s demanded to be certified while essentially ignoring the rampant fraud that occurred in the eastern part of his district. Now, he’s asking a court to certify his election before the investigation is complete.
Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse and Party Chair Robin Hayes have flip-flopped from saying we need a new election to demanding Harris be certified. Somebody got to them. Was it the national Republican Party? Or did the authors of the gerrymander in the NC legislature demand they change tunes? Maybe it was big donors, but somebody clearly pressured them.
Now, the party line is that the board of elections, which is in flux because of court decisions, didn’t move fast enough. Woodhouse says they’ve dragged their feet and therefore Harris should be certified. He also says, erroneously, “The state board has presented none that would amount to anything close to having a ‘substantial likelihood of changing the outcome of the race’, which is the required, and traditional legal standard.” That’s not what the statute says and there is no “traditional legal standard” since we’ve never seen fraud to this extent before.
The Republicans are also impeding the investigation by refusing to recommend two member to a temporary State Board of Elections until a permanent one can be put in place. There’s a broader issue here that’s been over looked. In essence, they’ve achieved exactly what they wanted when they attempted set up an election board with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans—stalemate.
The GOP proposed an elections board that mirrored the Federal Election Commission, a toothless entity that rarely takes action on election problems because no majority can be reached. If Republicans had succeeded, we would face a permanent board that spent more time not acting than acting. Fortunately, the court found the scheme unconstitutional. Unfortunately, we’re may spend the next three weeks without a functioning elections board in the midst of one the most outlandish election fraud scandals in recent history.
Again, Republicans don’t care voter fraud or election fraud. They only care about winning. Republicans who screamed for years about the problem of rampant voter fraud are now trying to cover up rampant election fraud. Republicans who told us that the integrity of our elections was in jeopardy now want to prevent an acting body that can ensure the integrity of elections.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >