Susan Walsh / AP
There has been much confusion dimmed when a North Carolina election campaign had been announced by the State Election Commission for Republican Mark Harris's election victory over Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th district for "allegations of irregularities and fraudulent activities. "
In a 7-2 vote on Friday, the Board said it would hold a public hearing instead on December 21" to ensure that the election is determined without fraud or corruption and without irregularities may have changed the outcome. "A unanimous vote follows earlier this week to postpone the results of the electoral certification.
The vote on Friday created new uncertainty about the outcome of the race and questioned the possibility that a second election could ultimately take place. The two candidates are separated according to unofficial election results with 905 votes from more than 280,000 votes. The Associated Press originally named the race for Harris, but lifted that projection on Friday.
In a letter to the Electoral Commission, the Democratic Party of North Carolina raised the allegation of misconduct. The Washington Post reported that the government's Electoral and Ethics Enforcement Office had already collected at least six sworn statements from voters in the Bladen district claiming that the people had come to their doors, and they to submit their voting cards.
In the circles Bladen and Robeson were about 3,400 absentee ballots not sent back to election officials, according to the NPR member station WFAE.
This corresponds to 40 percent of the postal vote in Bladen County and 64 percent in Robeson, according to an analysis of News & Observer .
Gerry Cohen, a voting expert in North Carolina, told the WFAE that when people go through the process of voting for a postal ballot, they often return it , "The response rate is usually around 80 or 90 percent," he said.
According to News & Observer the non-returned November ballots were disproportionately linked to minorities.
More than 40 percent of the turnouts of African Americans and more than 60 percent of the votes demanded by American Indians did not make it to election officials. For the white voters it was only 17 percent.
In an affidavit received by the Board, a woman named Emma Shipman said she was being visited by a person who claimed to be collecting absentee ballots, WFAE reported.
Shipman She filled out the form while the woman was waiting outside. "She took the ballot and put it in an envelope and never sealed it or asked me to sign it, then she left."
The collection of postal voting cards from third parties is illegal. But, Shipman said, "Because of the way she presented herself, I thought she was legitimate."
The nominees in North Carolina's 9th congressional district held divergent views on the postponement of the electoral committee.
"I respect today's decision of the bilateral Chamber to postpone the certification of our election results until a full investigation is completed," Democratic candidate McCready said . He added, "Any attempt to rob a person of this right should be taken with the full force of justice."
Harris declined the decision and said : "The Electoral Authority should act immediately to confirm the race while continuing the investigation, everything else being a disadvantage to the population of the 9th district."
He said he supports efforts to enlighten suspected electoral fraud, "as long as it is possible is fair and focuses on all political parties." Harris said there were not enough ballots questioned to influence the outcome of the race.
Dallas Woodhouse, Executive Director of the North Carolina Republican Party, released the board's decision. Appeal for the resignation of the Democratic Chairman of the State Electoral Committee . He said Andy Penry, the chairman, "has proven to be a hyper-partisan," and "no public evidence in # CD9 shows electoral manipulations and mathematically that could not have changed the race."
Penry resigned on Saturday, saying he did not want his biased views to undermine the investigation.
"Investigating criminal behavior and electoral fraud in the absence of the 2018 Republican primaries and the 2018 parliamentary elections in Congressional District 9 is critical to our democracy," he wrote in a statement after The Washington Post , "I will not let myself be used as a distraction instrument in this investigation."
The board came together for a three-hour conference call on Friday, WFAE reports. Two of four Republicans voted against the delay – Ken Raymond and John Hemphill. The other two, Stacy Eggers and John Lewis, voted in unison with the Democrats.
The electoral body itself is also subject to uncertainty. A panel of three judges decided in October that the changes introduced by the Republican-controlled General Assembly of the state were unconstitutional. North Carolina Governor Democrat Roy Cooper said the changes were designed to undermine his control of the board.
A stay in the decision, through which the board was active, should expire, but was extended. Harris requested that the board should remain in place until his race is certified.