Mark Harris' son gives emotional testimony on day 3 of NC09 investigation

Testimony continued into a third day Wednesday in a hearing centering around North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

Red Dome Consulting founder Andy Yates took to the stand for a second day.  Yates' testimony centered what, if anything, he knew about the criminal a campaign aide for Republican Mark Harris's campaign, McCrae Dowless.

Yates said he had done a Google search, but was never asked to do a criminal background check on Dowless, who he said had been hired by the campaign prior to Red Dome coming on board with Harris's Congressional campaign.

Harris's son, John Harris, also took the stand at the hearing Wednesday, revealing he had concerns about McCrae Dowless before he had been hired by the campaign.  

John Harris said he believed Dowless had been collecting ballots, which is a felony in North Carolina. John Harris said Dowless denied it to his parents, provided examples, and was said that his father was under the impression the process was legal.

Wednesday's testimony comes on the heels of two days of testimony and findings revealed by state election investigators.

On Monday, the State Board of Elections said there was an effort on the part of  Dowless to conduct election operation that was "a violation of the law". People paid by Dowless testified they beared false witness to signatures on absentee ballots--and in some cases, received unsealed and unmarked ballots.

Tuesday's testimony focused on two different aspects--the inner workings of the Bladen County Board of Elections, which found that there were improper procedures and training on the counting of ballots; and testimony from Yates.  

Yates revealed Red Dome paid Dowless and largely gave him no oversight on how he spent the funds he was given.  He also said he was not aware of any wrongdoing in the 2018 Congressional race--and had he known, he would have reported it.

So far, the case being made by those testifying points fingers at any alleged or potential wrongdoing to Dowless, who appeared at Monday's hearing but chose not to testify unless he was granted immunity. The board declined to offer him that immunity.

Harris leads McCready by a 905-vote margin.  The State Board of Elections has declined to certify the race since allegations of election fraud arose shortly after the election in November.  Staffers with the board have been investigating the allegations since.

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