Over a thousand absentee ballots possibly destroyed in controversial North Carolina House race: report

Over a thousand absentee ballots from likely Democratic voters may have been destroyed in the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District last month as allegations of fraud on behalf of the Republican candidate mount. 

“You’re looking at several thousand, possibly 2,000 absentee ballot requests from this most recent election. About 40 percent of those, it appears, at this point may not have been returned,” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told CNN. 

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The report comes after Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyTrump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike MORE (D-Va.), the vice ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called for an emergency hearing regarding allegations of voter fraud.

Several voters have come forward since Election Day with claims that their uncompleted absentee ballots were illegally collected, and it remains unclear if their votes were counted. One woman on Monday claimed to have been paid by a Republican operative to collect ballots.

Republican Mark HarrisMark HarrisBevin says he lost because liberals are 'good at harvesting votes' in urban areas The 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 MORE holds a narrow lead of about 900 votes over Democrat Dan McCready, but North Carolina's State Board of Elections has declined to certify the results of the election amid the allegations. McCready conceded to Harris and said he would not request a recount after being down approximately 700 votes in November.

Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Md.), the incoming House majority leader, said Tuesday that Democrats will not seat Harris until the allegations are resolved.

“The allegation is of serious fraudulent activity on behalf of the Republican administrator — one or more — dealing with primarily absentee ballots. ... So there’s a very substantial question,” Hoyer told reporters during a press briefing in the Capitol. 

“If there is what appears to be a very substantial question on the integrity of the election, clearly we would oppose Mr. Harris’s being seated until that is resolved,” he added.