North Carolina's elections board has called for a new congressional election to finally fill its 9th District seat.
Republican candidate Mark Harris narrowly beat Democrat Dan McCready in November's elections, but the board had refused to call the election amid widespread allegations of fraud committed by Harris' campaign. After a weeklong series of hearings on the issue — and after Harris called for a new election — the board decided Thursday to hold a do-over, per The Washington Post.
After November's elections, dozens of voters filed affidavits saying people came to their house and illegally asked for their absentee ballots, even if they weren't filled out, signed, or sealed. Witnesses have since testified to collecting those ballots after being paid by McCrae Dowless, a political operative who consulted for Harris.
The uncertainty prompted a series of hearings on the issue, during which state investigators and the board said they had "evidence" that proved "a coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme operated during the general election," per NBC News. Harris has long denied knowledge of any illegal activities, and repeated that claim Thursday. Still, he called for a new election because "the public's confidence... has been undermined." Less than an hour later, the board voted to hold a new election, the Post says. Kathryn Krawczyk