North Carolina Republicans call for bipartisan probe of fraud in House race

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The board also got a rash of calls from residents who said that canvassers told them their voter registration had been canceled, Stone said, and he alerted the North Carolina State Board of Elections of the irregularities this summer.

"If there is what appears to be a very substantial question on the integrity of the election, clearly we would oppose Mr. Harris being seated until that is resolved", said Representative Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat and incoming House majority leader.

Allegedly the probe centers on an unusually high number of absentee ballots in Bladen County, North Carolina, as well as canvassers who gathered votes from several voters.

The 9th District seat would likely be vacant if there's still no victor by the start of the next congressional session.

The state's GOP executive director, Dallas Woodhouse, said Thursday that the GOP would "fully support a new election" if evidence of significant election irregularities is found.

"Any member-elect can object to the seating or the swearing in of another member-elect, and we'll see how that goes".

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Mark Harris now has 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the congressional race, but state officials are hesitant to certify the results after Democrats are accusing their opponents of voter fraud.

Allegations of flagrant absentee ballot fraud in a North Carolina district have thrown the Election Day results of one of the nation's last unresolved midterm congressional races into question.

A little background on Dowless: Dowless is the vice chair of the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District board.

"The House Administration Committee will have full investigative authority to determine the victor of the election", Pelosi added.

However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the victor. Local Republicans point out that absentee ballots mostly favored Democrats, including Burton, in Robeson County, and the problems in Bladen didn't leak into this county.

But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week because of allegations of "irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" involving mail-in ballots in the district.

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Woodhouse's comments are in tune with a growing chorus of officials on both sides of the aisle who suggest the only remedy to addressing the ballot issues in the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready may be a fresh election.

NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman denied that anyone affiliated with the Pittenger campaign brought up possible fraud to anyone at the committee, including Tyler Foote, who ran the southeast region for the NRCC.

Dowless was also paid $940 by the Bladen County GOP this year that they said was for get-out-the-vote efforts.

The board, appointed by the governor, is made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and one non-partisan member.

He recalled concluding that Harris had won the overall vote with a strong showing from evangelical voters, but he said: "We did not look real specifically at absentee ballots". Dowless was previously convicted of perjury in 1990 and felony fraud in 1992, according to court records obtained by the Charlotte Observer.

There are also claims that incomplete ballots were collected and then filled out later, Cohen said. Dowless acknowledged he hired people in 2016 to urge voters to turn in absentee ballot request forms, which is legal. Initial counts showed Moody to be the victor by 138 votes.

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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.

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