State officials investigate potential election fraud in North Carolina; emergency hearing possible

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Republican Mark Harris holds a narrow lead over Democrat Dan McCready.

Since 2010, Republican-led statehouses have whipped up concerns over illegal voters, foreign voters, dead voters and double voters that have rarely been verified.

Some voters said they handed their unsealed ballots over to one of these operatives.

Mark Harris now has 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the congressional race, but state officials are hesitant to certify the results after Democrats are accusing their opponents of voter fraud.

In affidavits offered by the state Democratic Party, some Bladen County voters have described that people came to their homes to collect their absentee ballots, whether or not they had been fully completed or sealed in an envelope to keep them from being altered.

"I think you should wait and see if there was actually fraud here".

He recalled concluding that Harris had won the overall vote with a strong showing from evangelical voters, but he said: "We did not look real specifically at absentee ballots".

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Another North Carolina Republican operative, granted anonymity to speak candidly, acknowledged that there's "a bit of a role reversal going on here". But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week in view of "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" involving mail-in ballots in the district. The Democrat conceded after Election Day that Harris had won.

"The House still retains the right to decide who is seated", Mrs. Pelosi told reporters Thursday. It's not about the one House seat, it's about the "integrity of elections", she said. Harris' chief political strategist had hired a Bladen County man who has become the focus of many allegations.

But Republicans have argued that any irregularities are not widespread enough to make a difference in the ultimate outcome of the race. It's unclear how many ballots could be affected and if any ballots were actually tampered with.

If the District 9 race is not certified by the state board, the leaders of the U.S. House can select either Harris or McCready to fill the seat, Stone said. "Certifying the race is not related to continuing a criminal investigation or multiple criminal investigations, which are obviously going to need to continue".

Amid these reports, North Carolina's former Republican governor, Pat McCrory, told WSOC-TV on Wednesday that he'd raised the alarm about Bladen County's voting irregularities in 2016.

But the board voted unanimously to delay the results of the 9th District, which comprises all or parts of eight counties in the south-central part of the state, and provided few details why. North Carolina requires witnesses to sign absentee ballots. Those are high rates of non-return, as no other county exceeded 27 percent. A different group, she said, dropped off batches of hundreds of voter registration applications and vote-by-mail requests from August to October. The term of Rep. Robert Pittenger, who lost to Harris in last May's primary, will end at the close of this month's session. "Let me just leave it at that". According to the Observer, Dowless paid people - sometimes high on opioids - in cash to collect and divert absentee ballots, an illegal action under North Carolina election laws.

Trump has repeatedly and without evidence claimed large numbers of illegal immigrants have cast ballots and raised the specter of election fraud during routine but protracted vote counts after the November 6 elections. On Saturday, Andy Penry resigned from the chairmanship after he came under fire for posts on social media, including criticism of President Donald Trump.

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