After being presented with an overwhelming amount of evidence of vote tampering in the recent 9th district election, the Board of Elections of the state of North Carolina unanimously voted for the holding of a new special election. The declared winner of the original election was involved in the call for the new election, as allegations of ballot fraud were cast at his doorstep.
The problem came to light while waiting to get his election win certified, Republican Mark Harris changed his stance, doing a complete one-eighty, and in fact, called for a second election. Although Harris was declared the winner over his opponent, Democrat Dan McCready, when all the ballots were tallied by 905 votes, his win never got to the final stage of being officially certified.
At the last minute evidence came to light, before the certification of the race, in the form of campaign employees for Harris being implicated in ballot fraud. An investigation into the alleged fraud implications was conducted, and by the time the fourth day of the evidentiary hearing being conducted by the voting board, Harris stepped forward and stated he felt there should be another election.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Harris stated: "Through the testimony, I've listened to over the last three days I believe a new election should be called." He went on to say that in the eyes of the public, the general election for the 9th District seat election was seen as having been undermined and as such inhibited the public’s confidence in the entire process. It was then that he stated that he felt the new election was indeed warranted.
The state election board, consisting of three Democrats and two Republicans, listened to the testimony and presentations of evidence all week. Their conclusion and subsequent ruling stated that they had found that Harris’ staffers guilty of having collected absentee ballots illegally.
When speaking to Yahoo News, a spokesperson for the state Republican party stated that any candidates wishing to be on the ballot would have to file to run in a new primary, that would occur before the special election. There has been no word from Harris's camp as to whether Harris will indeed choose to throw his hat back into the ring and make another run for the district seat.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Should Harris be able to refile and rerun in the special election, after the finding of ballot fraud on the part of his campaign employees in the first election?