You Won't Believe This North Carolina Felon's One Weird Trick For Ratf*cking Elections!
All this month, Wonkette has been bringing you tales of the recent extreme election ratfuckery in North Carolina -- a sordid scandal involving a former felon named Leslie McRae Dowless who may or may not have ratfucked a few absentee ballots in Bladen County this past election (he did) in order to help Republican Mark Harris win, and also maybe ratfucked elections in the state for the last eight years (he did that too).
Has it gotten worse? You bet it has gotten worse!
Judd Legum is now reporting at popular.info that, according to an affidavit signed by Ben Snyder, the chairman of the Bladen County Democratic Party, McCrae Dowless told Bladen County Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw that he had figured out the One Weird Trick for winning elections, and that said trick was just straight up throwing ballots into the trash. LIKE MAGIC!
According to Snyder, he got the hot dish from another board member, Bobby Ludlum, who got it straight from Shaw herself. Like SO:
And according to the affidavit, this is how the convo went down:
Dowless: "Well, I have added a new trick"
Shaw: "What is it?"
Dowless: "I am throwing ballots into the trash."
It would normally be a little surprising for someone to be that blatant about election fraud, but Dowless has not been exactly shy with sharing his various ... tricks.
According to another affidavit, signed by another member of the Bladen County Board of Elections, Jens Lutz (who once ran a political consulting firm with Dowless), Shaw had previously assisted him with his election fuckery by giving him the information he needed to request absentee ballots from people who had previously voted using one:
It is my understanding that during prior election years, Board staff allowed Mr. Dowless to take and copy unredacted absentee ballot request forms, which include social security numbers, driver's license numbers, state ID numbers, and signatures. Upon information and belief, this information gave Mr. Dowless the ability to request absentee ballots for anyone who has ever voted by absentee ballot by mail in the recent past.
Lutz also said that the information Dowless was given was so specific that it could have allowed him to specifically target black voters, which Legum notes "could help explain the large number of absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson county that were never returned."
It could indeed!
Lutz also said in his statement that he heard it through the grapevine that Dowless also managed to get the early voting results before those were made public, giving him an unfair advantage:
I know of one person who claims to have overheard Mr. Dowless bragging about preelection candidate vote totals to multiple people after one-stop in-person, early voting ended, indicating that he was aware of the one-stop early voting totals, and that the candidate or candidates he supported were in the lead.
This is as good a time as any to note that if you are going to do a bunch of crime, you should probably not go around bragging about it to every person you see. Something like 60% of the murderers on Dateline end up getting caught because they just couldn't keep themselves from bragging about how they murdered their wife to a random stranger in a bar. People talk, and also other people within the vicinity of the person you are bragging have ears and can hear you, especially if you are being very loud about it.
Oh! And also don't do any election fraud (or wife-murdering), period.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse