Elections Board Unanimously Votes To Hold New Election In North Carolina’s 9th District
RALEIGH, NC — In a unanimous vote, the North Carolina State Board of Elections called for a new election in the state’s 9th congressional district.
The decision comes after surprise testimony from Mark Harris. The Republican candidate received 905 more votes than democrat Dan McCready in November’s election.
Those results were thrown out on Thursday.
“Through the testimony that I’ve heard the last three days, I believe a new election should be called,” said Mark Harris reading a statement while under oath. “It’s become clear to me the public’s confidence in the ninth district seat general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted.”
The surprising turn happening after days of testimony from nearly a dozen people.
The evidence presented pointed to McCrae Dowless and an illegal ballot collection operation in Bladen County and possibly others. Harris hired Dowless to work on his campaign, but denied having knowledge of illegal actions.
Harris, who recently had two strokes due to complications from an infection said the hearing took a toll on him.
“I struggled this morning with both recall and confusion,” said Harris.
Harris’ Attorney David Freedman says the turning point was testimony from Harris’ son John. The evidence presented and his compelling comments had a major impact.
“I think they made mistakes in this process and they certainly did things differently than I would have done them,” said John on Wednesday.
“If he had listened to his son the first time, he would be in Congress right now,” said Harris’ Attorney David Freedman.
McCready’s Attorney, who had been questioning witnesses with exhaustive detail was caught off guard by this turn of events.
“Most of what happened in the last few days was unexpected,” said Mark Elias.
Both candidates in the contested 9th district race now calling for a new election.
“Hopefully there won’t be what my son would call shenanigans going on,” said Elections board chairman Bob Cordle.
Voters in the 9th district will now prepare to head back to the polls.
The NCSBE will outline a schedule for the new election at their next meeting.
While the election board’s investigative work is done; criminal investigations are ongoing.
McCrae Dowless is being criminally investigated and its possible Harris could face charges as well.
People close to Harris say it’s too soon to tell whether he’ll run again.