In November, Mark Harris (R) seemed to have defeated Dan McCready (D) in a razor thin race to represent the 9th Congressional District of North Carolina. In the three months since, that victory has unravelled, and now the Board of Elections, with the concurrence of Harris himself, has called for a new vote.
The 9th district, in the south central part of the state, is bordered by Charlotte to the west and Elizabethtown to the east.
Harris won the Republican primary there in May 2018 by defeating incumbent Rep. Robert Pittinger, despite Vice President Michael Pence’s visit to the district to help Pittinger’s campaign.
In November, unofficial totals showed Harris led McCready by 905 votes. But there were reasons early on to suspect ballot tampering, and the Board refused to certify the results.
Now, in February, the Board has formally found the result tainted by corruption, and has called for a new election. Harris acknowledges that “public confidence in the 9th district has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted.”
The Thing to Know:
Criminal authorities in North Carolina are considering whether to bring charges against Leslie McCrae Dowless, the principal of a consulting company working for the Harris campaign, who appears to have coordinated tampering with absentee ballots.