North Carolina Republicans ratcheted up their drive to put Mark Harris in Congress on Tuesday, questioning “the entire legitimacy” of a state investigation into allegations of election fraud in the 9th Congressional District. North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes accused elections officials of “one stalling pattern after another” in a meeting with reporters in Charlotte. “When there (isn’t) evidence that irregularities would change the outcome of the election, Mark Harris should be certified,” Hayes said. “If they had discovered a shred of evidence, they would have made it public.” State law, however, allows for the board to call for a new election if “Irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness.” The McCready campaign, in a legal brief filed Monday in Wake County Superior Court, called that finding “an inevitable conclusion” to the case.
In a legal brief filed by the state board Monday, it argued that the Harris’ campaign’s “delayed production” of documents “is a substantial source of the prolonged investigation.”
Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Ridgeway has scheduled a hearing in Harris’ case for 10 a.m. Jan. 22. Harris has asked the court to certify the election results or order the state board’s staff to certify the results.
The district that runs from Charlotte to Bladen County has remained unrepresented since the new Congress took office on Jan. 3. The election, in which Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in unofficial totals, has been clouded by the allegations of fraud, particularly in Bladen County.