U.S. state to re-elect congressman after alleged ballot fraud

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-22 14:32:57|Editor: Xiaoxia
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. state of North Carolina on Thursday decided to hold a re-election for one of its congressional seats, after evidence of ballot fraud emerged.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously for a new election for the state's 9th Congressional District after reports of ballot-tampering.

According to the allegations, an operative working for the Republican candidate Mark Harris paid others to collect absentee ballots from rural voters, whereas state law dictates that only close relatives can turn in or mail absentee ballots.

According to the present result, Harris leads his Democratic opponent Dan McCready by 905 votes, but the state election board has not certified the result.

Harris on Thursday agreed to a re-election, saying: "I believe a new election should be called, it's become clear to me that public confidence in the 9th District has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted."

Despite agreeing to a re-election, Harris denied that he was aware of any illegal actions by his staff.

"Neither I nor any of the leadership in my campaign were aware of or condone the improper activities," Harris told an earlier hearing on the subject.

The date for the re-election has not yet been determined, and whether Harris will run again is also unclear. Since the decision has been announced, McCready has begun fundraising, indicating that he intends to run for the seat again.

The midterm elections took place in November. The Democratic Party took over the House of Representatives with a 235-seat majority, while the Republican party currently holds 197 seats in the 435-seat chamber.