North Carolina elections board delays certification of congressional election results again

North Carolina's election board voted again Friday to delay certification of the election results in the 9th...

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 7:09 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 7:09 PM

North Carolina's election board voted again Friday to delay certification of the election results in the 9th Congressional District amid allegations of irregularities and possible criminal activity with absentee ballots, a move that could potentially lead to a call for a new election.

The 7-2 vote from the bipartisan board gives its lawyers and investigators less than a month to further examine allegations of improper activities that have been filed with the board, at least one of which claims an unidentified woman filled out an absentee ballot for a voter.

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Should evidence be found of voter fraud, that could change the outcome of the 905-vote margin between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready, the board could potentially call for a new election.

McCready conceded the race to Harris the day after the election earlier in November, but the state Democratic Party has filed affidavits with the board of voters purporting there were potential illegal activities.

One affidavit filed by the Democratic Party alleges Republican McCrae Dowless, who has a history of being accused of improper voter activity in Bladen County, could financially benefit from handling absentee ballots for the Harris campaign. Dowless is also alleged to have claimed he had 80 people working for him on two races, including the 9th District. Another affidavit alleged Dowless said he'd receive a $40,000 bonus if Harris won the election.

CNN's attempts to reach Dowless for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

"I move that in light of claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee by mail ballots and potentially other matters in Congressional District 9, the state board hold, as then constituted, an evidentiary hearing on or before December 21," Vice Chairman Joshua Malcolm proposed in the vote. "... To assure that the election is determined without taint or fraud or corruption and without irregularities that may have changed the result of the election."

The board met Tuesday to certify results from the November 6 election. The 9th Congressional District was among the races the board unanimously voted not to certify then. As the board reconvened its open session Friday morning, it immediately voted to adjourn to a closed session to consult with its legal counsel about potential criminal activities.

The board reconvened publicly hours later and voted to withhold certification.

Harris was one of two Republicans to beat incumbents during the GOP primaries this year. He beat three-term Rep. Robert Pittenger by 828 votes. Election watchers pointed to his substantial absentee lead back then in Bladen County, where the investigation is currently focused.

"We applaud the board's bipartisan decision to delay certification and fully investigate the concerning allegations in the 9th Congressional District," said Wayne Goodwin, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "North Carolina voters deserve to know the truth and their voices deserve to be heard."

The state Republican Party called for the board chairman to be removed.

"The lack of information from shameless Democrat partisan NCSBE Chairman Andy Penry makes this entire debacle difficult to grasp," said Robin Hayes, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.

Hayes pointed to an editorial in The Charlotte Observer and said, "Every once in a blue moon, we agree with The News & Observer's editorial board: Penry should resign."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 481397

Reported Deaths: 9395
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32996486
Hinds30973586
DeSoto30491353
Jackson23650348
Rankin21267368
Lee14867220
Madison14145271
Jones13365226
Forrest13125238
Lauderdale11538305
Lowndes10418176
Lamar10184130
Pearl River9055219
Lafayette8218137
Hancock7501112
Washington7033150
Oktibbeha6937124
Monroe6491161
Neshoba6463201
Warren6439163
Pontotoc626593
Panola6219126
Bolivar6105144
Marshall6102121
Union573086
Pike5590136
Alcorn536090
Lincoln5297131
George470072
Scott456096
Leflore4468140
Prentiss445277
Tippah443680
Itawamba4430100
Adams4403116
Tate4351101
Simpson4324112
Wayne431566
Copiah431087
Yazoo423086
Covington414792
Sunflower4137104
Marion4087104
Leake397186
Coahoma394298
Newton368775
Grenada3553104
Stone350659
Tishomingo334689
Attala324886
Jasper313762
Winston303591
Clay295273
Chickasaw286665
Clarke280290
Calhoun265140
Holmes261887
Smith249549
Yalobusha220547
Tallahatchie218850
Walthall210558
Greene207845
Lawrence206033
Perry199353
Amite198152
Webster195942
Noxubee178239
Montgomery172054
Jefferson Davis167642
Carroll161937
Tunica152734
Benton142035
Kemper138440
Claiborne126634
Choctaw126326
Humphreys126337
Franklin116628
Quitman103626
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson88833
Sharkey62820
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 781915

Reported Deaths: 13798
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1109621748
Mobile706071213
Madison49359617
Baldwin36054485
Shelby35933311
Tuscaloosa33540540
Montgomery32996673
Lee22337218
Calhoun20935400
Morgan19666329
Etowah18890454
Marshall17575274
Houston16598377
St. Clair15287298
Limestone14442184
Cullman14441252
Elmore14299259
Lauderdale13395278
Talladega12781234
DeKalb12102233
Walker10495328
Autauga9611135
Blount9595154
Jackson9293152
Coffee8764174
Dale8485171
Colbert8448180
Tallapoosa6557177
Escambia6541117
Covington6409165
Chilton6314142
Russell600655
Franklin5744101
Chambers5350133
Marion4748116
Dallas4672185
Clarke459177
Pike458895
Geneva4333116
Winston420292
Lawrence4099108
Bibb405680
Barbour342969
Marengo324783
Monroe316652
Butler316088
Randolph302855
Pickens300673
Henry299657
Hale290483
Cherokee286752
Fayette276473
Washington245048
Crenshaw236768
Clay226264
Cleburne225750
Macon218057
Lamar192541
Conecuh180146
Lowndes170758
Coosa167533
Wilcox159636
Bullock148642
Perry136336
Sumter124136
Greene120542
Choctaw73326
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