Chuck Burton / AP
Three months after the midterm elections, voters in the 9th Congressional District of North Carolina can finally figure out who their congressman will be or whether they'll have to go to the polls again.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections Will Do This Meet on Monday for a multi-day hearing to consider evidence that investigators have been gathering for months.
In the unofficial compilation of the 9th district, Republican Mark Harris leads the Democrat Dan McCready with 905 votes. However, the election was stained by allegations that a Harris-hired officer had emailed and possibly manipulated some of his votes.
The investigators of the state election authority have been dealing with the allegations since the beginning of December.
Person of interest was known before
. Shortly after the midterm elections in 2018, the State Electoral Authority voted for two parties to delay the certification of the race and instead initiate an investigation. Shortly thereafter, McCrae Dowless was appointed by the board to a person of interest.
Dowless has repeatedly rejected the NPR statement and has not spoken publicly since the beginning of the investigation. His lawyer, Cynthia Adams Singletary, issued a statement in December stating that Dowless has not broken any laws and any investigation would prove that.
A number of voters have commented that Dowless or people paid by Dowless have received their votes by e-mail, which is illegal in North Carolina.
Election results in Bladen County, where Dowless is also based, point to something amiss.
Harris won 61 percent of voting ballots in Bladen, although only 19 percent of voters were registered as republican by mail. For Harris, who had landed at these 61 percent, he would have had to win every Republican and non-affiliated voter and also some registered Democrats, which led to questions as to whether ballots were rigged or dropped.
Harris said he had frequent contact with Dowless during his election campaign, that he even had a "pastoral" relationship with him, but he knew that No Illegal Activities Harris told the Associated Press last week that he did not know Dowless' criminal record for beating insurance fraud and marital acts, and Dowless's history of unsavory voting tactics.
The State Election Commission investigated possible electoral fraud in Bladen County in 2016 and Dowless testified at a public hearing presented in an episode of the nationally syndicated radio show and podcast This American Life.
The state agency forwarded its findings to the US Attorney General's District of North Carolina in 2017.
"Our findings so far suggest that individuals and potentially groups of individuals who have endeavored to produce election results through the Manning of voting procedures, "wrote the Executive Director of the Election Commission Kim Strach in January 2017." The evidence we have obtained suggests that these efforts may have occurred in the past and that if they are not addressed, they are likely to continue Future Elections. "
Possible Next Steps
The State Electoral Commission, which consists of three Democrats and two Republicans, is expected to vote on the way forward at the end of the hearing. 19659008] To certify that Harris needs three votes, at least one Democrat must vote for it. And for a new election four votes would be required, ie at least one Republican would have to vote for it.
If the board got bogged down after the hearing, Harris would be certified under the law of North Carolina. But the Democrats, who now hold the majority in the US House of Representatives, have stated that they would not have Harris seated if questions about the fairness of the elections remain. In that case, the House could free the seat, which would then give Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, the authority to call a new election.
In the event of a completely new race, voters in the 9th district are expected to retire for most of 2019 without representation in Congress. Experts say that between signing up and new area codes, a new house member would probably not be seated until late summer or fall.