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 ConnollyHouse bill targets US passport backlog Democrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe Tlaib, Democrats slam GOP calls for border oversight to fight opioid crisis 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 HarrisNorth Carolina political operative pleads guilty to ballot fraud The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill Hillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution 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 HoyerHouse bundling is bad for deliberation CBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium Top House Democrats call on Biden administration to extend eviction moratorium 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.