NC elections board to hold hearing on disputed House race on Feb. 18

NC elections board to hold hearing on disputed House race on Feb. 18

A long-delayed hearing on alleged voting irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th District is set to begin on Feb. 18, the State Board of Elections announced Monday.

The date for the meeting comes days after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, appointed five members to a new elections board after the previous panel was dissolved by a court in December.

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The board was initially set to hold a hearing on the alleged irregularities in the race to represent the state’s 9th District on Jan. 11. But that meeting was postponed amid a dispute between Cooper and North Carolina Republicans over who should sit on the election board.

Republican Mark HarrisMark HarrisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election North Carolina race raises 2020 red flags for Republicans, Democrats MORE currently leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in a closely watched House race in the district.

But state election officials have refused to certify Harris as the winner, because of allegations of an absentee ballot scheme in two rural counties in the district.

At the hearing, the elections board is expected to determine whether to certify Harris as the winner or call a new election, which would trigger a new round of primaries and eventually a new general election.

The alleged scheme revolves around whether an operative working for a consulting firm hired by Harris’s campaign paid workers to illegally collect absentee ballots from voters.

Harris has denied any wrongdoing and North Carolina Republicans have called on state officials to certify him as the winner.