Pelosi: House Could Take 'Extraordinary Step' on NC Election

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The state Board of Elections and the Wake County district attorney have launched investigations.

Last month's initial election results in Bladen County showed Republican Mark Harris defeating Democrat Dan McCready for a U.S. House seat by fewer than 1,000 votes. Incoming Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Tuesday that Harris was "not eligible for being sworn into the House" and would have to wait until North Carolina elections officials resolve that point.

Pelosi, who's nominated to become House speaker when Democrats take control in January, said that "any member-elect can object to the seating and the swearing-in of another member elect".

It was close, but North Carolina Republican Mark Harris was jubilant on election night.

Led by the president, Republicans nationwide have long cast themselves as victims of voter fraud. It could be headed for a do-over amid a widening investigation into possible election fraud. Similar conflicts have erupted in Texas, home to what was the nation's strictest identification law until North Carolina passed its version in 2013.

The midterms are not over in North Carolina's 9th district.

The current North Carolina scandal is rich on a number of levels.

"This has shaken us to the core", he said.

McCrory, the Republican governor at the time, made his voter-fraud claims later that year after losing to Cooper. The same year, The New Yorker continued, Dowless was running to remain the incumbent vice-chairman of Bladen County's Soil and Water Conservation district board. State election officials rejected that - while noting an absentee-voting irregularity that appeared to be linked to Dowless.

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Unlike in Bladen County, Democrat Dan McCready won more of the absentee vote in Robeson County than Republican Mark Harris did. "But it is not likely that would happen", Dallas Woodhouse, North Carolina Republican Party executive director, wrote in an email.

"The board needs to have a public hearing and lay out what they have, and unless they meet the standard of a substantial likelihood, numerically, that the outcome of this race was changed or could have been changed, then they need to certify Mark Harris as the victor and prosecute the offenders", said Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state Republican Party. If accurate, those results would mean every unaffiliated absentee voter, as well as some Democrats, went for the Republican. But investigators are probing whether some absentee ballots were altered by Dowless and a loosely connected group working with him or collected from voters but never turned in.

"I think you should wait and see if there was actually fraud here".

The move came as attention focused on Leslie McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County, North Carolina operative who was hired by a firm that got $400,000 from the Harris campaign. According to the Observer, Dowless paid people - sometimes high on opioids - in cash to collect and divert absentee ballots, an illegal action under North Carolina election laws. The Harris campaign and Red Dome founder Andy Yates didn't respond to an email seeking comment. Harris said last week that his victory should be finalized while the board investigated. The board will work with the prosecutor, he said. "Taking possession of one ballot or a thousand ballots is a felony".

At issue is who can handle completed ballots.

Another claim is that operatives discarded votes from minorities.

"Join me in this fight for the people whose voices were taken from them", he said. "That would also be illegal in every state".

In Congress, Democrats are considering their options.

"Votes have been stolen by preying on senior and minority voters, and now a cloud of doubt and suspicion hangs over this election result", according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That panel can open its own probe with full investigative powers, including subpoenas, hearings and even deciding which votes should count.

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