Mark Harris now has 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the congressional race, but state officials are hesitant to certify the results after Democrats are accusing their opponents of voter fraud.
Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes, according to unofficial results in the 9th District.
Highlighting the accusations in the rural North Carolina congressional district, Colbert told his viewers that Harris is a Baptist minister. Woodhouse told The Post on Thursday that if the state elections board can "show a substantial likelihood" that possible fraud could have changed the outcome of November's vote, "then we fully would support a new election". The board is meeting later this month to hear evidence, but it's unclear whether the race will be settled then. But he and his colleagues were cautious about saying whether a new election is necessary.
McCready had previously conceded the race to Harris, but withdrew that concession Thursday. The margin was cut by half the next week, but he declined to seek a recount. A North Carolina woman on Tuesday admitted to illegally "harvesting" ballots for a contractor working for Harris' campaign.
But last week, questions began about the absentee ballots in Bladen and neighboring Robeson County.
Dowless worked for Red Dome Group, a GOP political consulting firm that Harris paid more than $400,000.
Dallas Woodhouse, the state party's executive director, initially said he hadn't been alerted to the potential of absentee fraud by a Harris-hired consultant, Leslie McCrae Dowless, before admitting that he may have just shrugged them off in the heat of the campaign fight. Dowless has a felony criminal record. He didn't return an email seeking comment.More news: New trailer showcases the power of Captain Marvel
Does North Carolina's 9th congressional district race need a do-over? Harris said last week that his victory should be finalized while the board investigated.
And on Thursday, state Republican chief Woodhouse said that if fraud is proved, he would be open to a new election. There's a real possibility that they will call for a new election. If true, the charges sharply contrast with those that Republicans have used to justify ballot restrictions around the country, said Myrna Perez, a voting-rights expert at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school.
Hayes went on to say the state Republican Party had no knowledge of and did not participate in the absentee ballot operations under investigation.
Nearly a month after Republican Mark Harris declared victory in his North Carolina race for the U.S. House of Representatives, the state's election board is declining to certify the result as it probes mail-in ballots from two rural counties that have been called into question.
He also said it's unlikely anyone will be seated to represent North Carolina's 9th District when the new House is sworn in on January 3.
However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the victor.