Democrats Won't Seat A North Carolina Republican Amid Election Fraud

Harris campaign files emergency petition with North Carolina elections board to certify November results

Harris campaign files emergency petition with North Carolina elections board to certify November results

"It is important to note that no serious evidence of some of the most concerning allegations including widespread destruction of ballots ever materialized", North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement Friday.

The board refused to certify Harris as the victor in November due to evidence of irregularities in the absentee ballot count and allegations of fraud conducted by a Republican operative working on Harris's campaign. Harris holds a slim lead in unofficial results, but officials are looking into criminal allegations against an operative hired by his campaign.

In its petition, the Harris campaign wrote to the board that it, "is not aware of irregularities or other concerns sufficient in number to change the outcome of the election in the 9th district".

The elections board is investigating reports of potential ballot fraud in the 9th district congressional race and has scheduled a January 11 evidentiary hearing.

Cooper wants to fill the gap between old and new laws concerning the statewide board.

It's not clear how quickly the governor could appoint a board under the new law, or if a higher court could intervene.

"All of these members have election law experience and an awareness of the circumstances around the allegations involved in the Ninth Congressional District election".

Cooper Harris McCready
Cooper Harris McCready

Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Malcolm, who also is general counsel for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, state board chairman on December 3. Republicans instead will withhold GOP nominees until the new law takes effect, he said.

"I am hopeful the State Board of Elections will act swiftly in certifying this election and ensure the citizens in the 9th District will have a voice in the 116th Congress", Harris said on his official Twitter account. The outgoing board turned down his request.

"Given the now well-documented election fraud that took place in NC-09, Democrats would object to any attempt by [Mark] Harris to be seated on January 3", incoming House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement to The Washington Post. The U.S. Constitution states that the House is the judge of the elections of its members and the final arbiter of contests.

"If the governor calls me and requests that I serve again and that I would be a helpful and a positive influence I'd be happy to serve on the state Board of Elections", Malcolm said Friday.

It remains unclear whether there will be an interim board of elections to serve between now and January 31. "Empty chairs on the Board of Elections help no one".

"There has to be relief found, whether that's through the state court, the federal court or wherever", Harris said in the interview.

As for the Robeson County board, it will continue to exist as a four-person panel until the new state Elections Board selects new members to all county boards in the state, said Steve Stone, county board chairman. They have also said they won't serve on the temporary board. Cooper sued and eventually won. The latest ruling came just after lawmakers enacted a new law to largely restore the board to how it operated before 2016.

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