A top North Carolina Republican is open to holding a new election in the race to represent the state's Ninth Congressional District in light of the evidence of voter fraud in the midterm election, CNN reported Thursday. A new election early next year is possible, as is a temporary vacancy when Congress convenes January 3.
Hayes went on to say the state Republican Party had no knowledge of and did not participate in the absentee ballot operations under investigation.
Earlier Thursday, North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse told CNN he would support a new election if the elections board proves allegations of fraud are true and impacted the outcome of the race. McCready trailed Harris by 905 votes in the race to replace the outgoing Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC). "[But] if voter fraud was committed by Republicans, then yes, that would be ironic", said Carter Wrenn, a Republican consultant based in North Carolina who is not affiliated with either campaign.
"What we cannot have going forward from this point is an investigative and enforcement effort or process that has a partisan taint that could dramatically worsen the situation", said Sen.
Board members can call for a new election if they find enough problems that could have altered the outcome or cast doubts on the election's fairness. "We had a lot of campaigns and a lot of people expressing concerns at the end of the election, and we were trying to quickly move on to the general election".
The state Board of Elections, charged with conducting the investigation, is also in turmoil.
"We had them on the phone numerous times, and there was no mention of fraud", Gorman said. That scandal, involving the alleged disappearance of minority voters' absentee ballots to the apparent benefit of Republican candidate Mark Harris, underscores a remarkable turn in the battle over election integrity. As it stands, Dan McCready would certainly lodge a challenge in Congress before Harris gets seated, at which time this becomes the jurisdiction of the House and its majority party - Democrats.
But he said there was "a lot of angst" among his campaign aides, who "were all upset about what happened".
The state board could even vote to order a new election, setting up a rematch between Harris and McCready in 2019, depending on the outcome of its investigation. An analysis by the Charlotte Observer found that a low percentage of ballots in the district were returned in comparison with other districts in the state.
"I think you should wait and see if there was actually fraud here". It is illegal to collect or tamper with someone else's ballot. The board released documents showing that McCrae Dowless, the contractor hired by Red Dome, seems to have collected the most absentee ballot request forms in Bladen County this fall.
Multiple voters said in interviews that they handed over their ballots - some of which were not fully filled out and were left unsealed - to people who showed up at their doors and offered to collect them. Wake County district attorney Lorrin Freeman told CNN on Wednesday that many appear to have been destroyed.
If the board concludes that the irregularities tainted those results, it could toss them and call for a new election.
The state elections board has twice declined to certify Harris' victory and plans to hold an evidentiary hearing in the case this month.