Dec 6, 2018

Axios PM

Situational awareness: "The Eiffel Tower has announced that it will be closed to visitors on Saturday due to the protests called in the French capital by the yellow vest movement," the AP reports.

Breaking: Fiat Chrysler reportedly plans to open a new SUV assembly factory in Detroit, according to CNBC.

1 big thing: The mess in North Carolina

Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The first major election fraud case in a long time is unfolding in North Carolina, but it's far different than the threat hyped up by Republicans, and threatens to force a new election.

  • Republican Mark Harris holds an unofficial 905-vote lead over his Democratic opponent Dan McCready in North Carolina' 9th congressional district.
  • North Carolina's state elections board won't certify the results, citing "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee by-mail ballots."

Between the lines: This is different than Republican warnings about voter fraud, which baselessly claim voters are being illegally brought to the polls to vote multiple times or in places they don't reside.

Driving the news:

  • Democrats in the House are threatening not to seat Harris: Nancy Pelosi said they "could take the 'extraordinary step' of calling for a new election if the winner isn’t clear," the AP reported today.
  • North Carolina Republicans are open to a new election if fraud is proven to have affected the results, its executive director said today.

Driving the news, via Axios' Khorri Atkinson:

  • Leslie McCrae Dowless, who worked for Harris' campaign as a contractor, is reportedly at the center of the probe.
  • He has been accused of collecting and filling out hundreds of voters’ absentee ballots — which is illegal in the state. North Carolina mandates all absentee ballot envelopes must be signed by two witnesses and dropped off by voters or their close relatives.
  • Dowless has denied any wrongdoing, though the AP reports that Bladen County's elections board has recorded that he submitted over 500 ballots.

The bottom line: President Trump — who spent years baselessly claiming Democrats were behind massive voter fraud and created a voter fraud task force at the White House — has yet to comment on North Carolina.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images

The Oak Ridge Boys sing 'Amazing Grace' during a funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at St. Martins Episcopal Church.

2. What you missed
  1. Both houses of Congress passed a continuing resolution today to push the government shutdown deadline to Dec. 21.
  2. The Trump administration is blocking an arms deal between Israel and Croatia. Go deeper.
  3. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has a federal framework for states to regulate sports betting. Go deeper.
  4. The U.S. trade deficit reached the highest level in a decade in October, the AP reports.
  5. Lyft has submitted a draft registration to go public. Go deeper.
3. 1 awards thing

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, left, and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush in a scene from "Vice." Photo: Matt Kennedy/Annapurna Pictures via AP

"'Vice,' Adam McKay’s scathing Dick Cheney biopic, walked away with a leading six nominations" for the next Golden Globe awards, Variety reported today.

  • "The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Globes, also awarded 'A Star Is Born,' 'The Favourite,' and 'Green Book' with five nods apiece.'"
  • "On the television front, 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace' picked up four nominations. 'Barry,' 'The Kominsky Method,' and 'Homecoming' scored three nominations, as did 'Sharp Objects,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,' and 'A Very English Scandal.'"

Full list.