Just start over.  The Charlotte Observer’s editorial board today called for the election results in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district to be thrown out, and for the state to hold a new election.

“There may be no way, however, to know how widespread the fraud was, or whether it involved enough ballots to potentially change the outcome of the election — a 905-vote victory for Republican Mark Harris over Democrat Dan McCready. But we do know enough. Unless new evidence somehow clears the clouds hanging over this election, the Board of Elections should toss out the 9th District results.”

What’s unfolding in North Carolina seems nothing short of an effort to steal an election.  A Republican operative named McCrae Dowless, who, according to media reports, has been accused of election fraud in the past, may have done it again.

It began with reports that hundreds of absentee ballots in that county were never returned.  Then some voters in the district revealed that they had given their absentee ballots over to people who showed up at their homes asking to surrender them.  What happened to those ballots?

BuzzFeed calls it American political chicanery at its lowest levels:

 The allegations that Republicans tampered with absentee ballots in a close North Carolina election represent the most serious federal election tampering case in years, one that allegedly stole votes from elderly black voters in the state’s rural south.

Now two women intimately involved with McCrae Dowless’s absentee ballot machine have revealed to BuzzFeed News its grim and chaotic workings, in which Dowless tracked votes on yellow paper and paid his workers, including family members, from stacks of cash, which some used to keep themselves high on opioids while they worked.

We’d also like to take note of the great reporting on this story, especially from Joe Bruno of WSOC-TV in Charlotte.  Local reporting is alive and well!