NC-09 election overturned by State Board

The four-day evidentiary hearing into the Ninth Congressional District November 2018 election ended today with a unanimous vote by the State Board of Elections calling for a new election. The State Board voted to take this action after congressman-elect Mark Harris called for the new election in a brief statement after the mid-day hearing recess.

Dr Harris communicated that he was shocked, along with many in the courtroom, by testimony from campaign workers for McCrea Dowless and the Bladen Improvement PAC. These workers in 2018 had properly helped voters complete absentee ballot request forms but some also participated in secret operations to illegally collect and deliver ballots without the knowledge of Mark Harris.

In addition, we learned that election workers and staff at the county board of elections acted improperly, by tabulating early voting results before election day, allowing poll workers to see the early voting results, and lax security over absentee ballots. Dr. Mark Harris's statement emphasized that neither he nor the leadership of his campaign knew about these activities nor condoned them.  He stated that he believes that the public's confidence in the 9th Congressional District election has been undermined, and a new election is warranted.

The State Board of Elections followed Dr. Harris' conclusion about the 2018 election, and they overturned his victory by a unanimous vote, although very little evidence was actually presented to clearly prove the Harris margin of victory was in doubt.

We encourage our coalition members to keep Mark Harris in your prayers as he continues to recover from the infection and illness that has kept him sidelined since late December. He is still receiving daily treatments, and the rigors of the hearing this week were extremely difficult on him and his family.

Citizens in the 9th Congressional District must now wait several more months to have representation in Congress, while a special election is held to fill the seat.  A new primary and general election will take place before anyone can be sent to Washington to represent this district.

We offer Mark and Beth Harris our condolences, our continued support, and our prayers.  We appreciate their courage and leadership in running for office so they can serve the public.

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