Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Democrat McCready takes back concession in disputed 9th congressional district race

Democrat McCready takes back concession in disputed 9th congressional district race

He added that the State Board of Elections should "act immediately" and certify the results because "anything else is a disservice to the people of the Ninth District".

Voting restrictions became the central issue in Georgia's close gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, with Abrams accusing Kemp of abusing his office to cement his party's hold on power. "This is against everything that we actively stand for", he said. The law targeted "African-Americans with nearly surgical precision", said the 2016 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals' Fourth Circuit.

Then J. Michael Bitzer, a politics professor at Catawba College in Salisbury, published an analysis that found jarring anomalies, particularly in Bladen County, which has a large black population, and Robeson County, which has one of the largest Native-American populations on the East Coast.

The same day Bitzer published his data, the state Democratic Party submitted four affidavits to the elections board from Bladen County voters who said their absentee ballots had been collected at their homes by people they thought were officials. Harris, the Republican candidate, won more than 60 percent of the absentee vote. At that time, the GOP chair demanded a quick certification before the Democratic majority on the election board could "unscrupulously order a new election on a party line vote".

There is no evidence that the irregularities in absentee ballot returns changed the outcome of the race.

Leading up to the 2018 midterms, Dowless was reportedly paid by a consulting firm hired by Harris to help get out the vote. North Carolina law allows only a family member or legal guardian to drop off absentee ballots for a voter. He has denied any wrongdoing to The Charlotte Observer. But of the voters who turned in the absentee ballots, only 19 percent were registered Republicans.

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Republicans said one of the things that made them concerned about the board's ability to handle the investigation is that the board hadn't taken action even though Joshua Malcolm, who is now the board's chairman, said he had been aware of similar allegations "for years."

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.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House "retains the right to decide who is seated". Until then, the media hadn't focused too much on those possibilities, but that's precisely why ballot harvesting is illegal in North Carolina.

However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the victor.

The 9th congressional district has been represented by a Republican in Washington for more than five decades.

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