The North Carolina State Board of Elections is refusing to certify Republican Mark Harris’s 905 vote victory in the state’s 9th Congressional District on November 6, even though the election boards in all eight of the district’s counties have certified the results as a victory for Harris, and Democrat opponent Dan McCready has conceded.
Jay DeLancy, executive director of the non-partisan Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina, asked the question late Thursday night that is on the minds of many North Carolina voters: “Are Democrats plotting to steal an NC election?”
“All of the ballots have long been counted and certified in the district’s eight counties, so the state board’s certification looked like a yawner until Democrat board member, Joshua Malcolm, cited concerns with fraud or voting irregularities and motioned to exclude the 9th CD race from certification. The motion carried, 9 to 0,” DeLancy wrote.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections has, to date, been secretive about the reasons they have chosen not to certify the election.
Conservatives in the state suspect the foul play may be taking place not at the ballot boxes in the district, but in the political power plays going on between Democrat lawyers, Democrat members of the State Board and establishment Republican members of the State Board.
Harris, a strong pro-Trump conservative, defeated establishment Republican, incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger, in a close Republican primary.
“Channel 9 has obtained several affidavits out of Bladen County, North Carolina, [one of the eight counties in the district] voicing concerns about how the U.S. House District 9 race in November was handled,” WSOC reported.
Those affidavits, however, contained no offers of evidence but instead general speculation that something was off in the absentee ballot counts.
Democrats pounced on the unanimous, bipartisan vote of the State Elections Board not to certify the election.
“As you know, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously this week to delay the certification of our election results in NC’s 9th district due to allegations of fraud and irregularities,” Democrat challenger Dan McCready, who has already conceded, said in a statement, adding:
I support the bipartisan board’s decision and its efforts to ensure our elections are fair and every voice is heard.
Today’s news reports of the serious allegations in Bladen County are troubling. We cannot allow anyone to tamper with our elections or sabotage our electoral process. I stand with voters all across the 9th district in wanting to make sure any wrongdoing is investigated and prosecuted regardless of the outcome of the election.
We must do everything we can to protect the integrity of our ballots and sanctity of our elections because our democracy depends on it. I am confident the State Board of Elections will take the right course of action by holding a full public evidentiary hearing before certifying the election.
The Democratic Party of North Carolina weighed in as well, with this statement:
“These allegations are serious and disturbing. If true, the people’s right to freely and fairly cast their votes was thoughtfully and deliberately undermined, casting a shadow over this election. These claims must be fully investigated by state and federal authorities, and a full public hearing conducted, before certification of the 9th Congressional District election,” the Democratic Party of North Carolina said in a statement issued late Thursday.
The Republican Party of North Carolina issued this statement late Thursday:
The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement has a legal and moral duty to certify Congressman-Elect Mark Harris’ winning bid for Congress on Friday. If not, immediate court action will follow.
There are simply not enough absentee ballots in question to change the result. Mark Harris was elected to Congress. Mark Harris is going to Congress. Democrats don’t get a do-over based on unverified rumors that were not even put in an official election protest as required by law.
We encourage all allegations of voter fraud to be investigated and prosecuted, and perpetrators should go to prison. However, Democrats are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at the wall to try and steal an election. This madness must end tomorrow.
The Democrat controlled House of Representatives will be the final arbiter of whether to seat Republican Harris or Democrat McCready in the 116th Congress when it convenes in Washington on January 3.
Battleground State News Political Editor Steve Gill points out that Democrats risk opening a Pandora’s Box with their action.
“This is not a particularly close election,” Gill notes, “so perhaps the Republican-controlled Senate should respond by overturning election results in Montana and Arizona — refusing to seat Tester and Sinema — in order to expand their Senate majority from 53-47 to 55-45. If this is the new way that Democrats want to treat election results they don’t like then it should be applied by both parties.”
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