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North Carolina Won't Certify GOP Congressional Candidate as Winner

Rep.-elect Mark Harris at member room lottery

Democrat Dan McCready conceded the congressional race in North Carolina's 9th District on Nov. 9, but the state elections board today refused to certify victory for Republican Mark Harris.

The Associated Press also retracted its projection of a GOP win, with Harris leading McCready by 905 votes in the unofficial tally of nearly 283,000 ballots cast.

Harris, a Baptist pastor, defeated incumbent Rep. Rob Pittenger (R-N.C.) in the primary. The district borders South Carolina, extending east from Charlotte.

The state is investigating, though, potential voting irregularities including reports of people showing up at home to collect absentee ballots; North Carolina voters are alerted on voting materials that elections officials will never come to a home to pick up a ballot. Sworn affidavits say a local political player was “doing absentee” for Harris and was poised to receive a $40,000 bonus if the Republican won, local station WSOC reported.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted 7-2 today to hold a hearing by Dec. 21 "to assure the election is determined without taint of fraud or corruption."

The North Carolina Republican Party said Thursday night that they would go to court if the state board didn't certify a win for Harris today. "There are simply not enough absentee ballots in question to change the result," the party said. "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."