North Carolina: As Election Fraud Probe Centers On North Caroilina’s 9th District, A Cynical Cloud Settles In | WGBH
Inside his barber shop in Bladenboro, N.C., Rodney Baxley is giving Bobby Simmons a haircut. The two men are talking about what everyone in this part of the state has been talking about for the better part of the past month: McCrae Dowless, and the operation he was running to get out the vote for Republican Mark Harris in the congressional race in North Carolina’s 9th District. “I don’t think [Dowless] cares about who wins, as long as he gets paid,” Baxley says, as he trims just above Simmons’ right ear. “He’s in it for the cash,” Simmons chimes in. Bladen County, where Baxley’s barber shop is located, is rural, about 150 miles east of Charlotte, and home to the country’s largest pork processing plant, Smithfield Foods. The North Carolina Board of Election’s investigation into possible election fraud has cast a dark, cynical cloud over the community here. “It just shows you how sleazy politics are,” Baxley says.