North Carolina GOP open to new election if fraud found
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The North Carolina Republican Party would be open to a new election if an investigation were to find a high likelihood that wrongdoing swayed the state’s unresolved congressional race, its executive director said Thursday.
North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse texted a statement to The Associated Press saying that the GOP would back a new election if the state’s elections board shows that absentee ballot irregularities likely changed the outcome of the 9th district U.S. House race.
“If they can show a substantial likelihood it could have changed the race then we fully would support a new election,” he said.
However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, the Republican candidate should be certified the winner.
Unofficial ballot totals have Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week because of “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities” involving mail-in ballots in the district.
The board is meeting later this month to hear evidence, but it’s unclear whether the race will be settled then. A new election early next year is possible in the district that stretches through all or parts of eight counties in the south-central part of the state. There could be a temporary vacancy in the seat when Congress convenes Jan. 3.
At issue is who can handle completed ballots. North Carolina law allows only a family member or legal guardian to drop off absentee ballots for a voter.
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.
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