Better to have no Representative than a fraudulently-elected one:
An evidentiary hearing on allegations of absentee ballot fraud in a North Carolina congressional district election has been rescheduled. The N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement announced Friday that the public hearing initially scheduled for Dec. 21 will now be held on Jan. 11, 2019.
In a letter Monday, board chairman Joshua Malcolm had suggested more time may be needed to decide whether a new election would be necessary for the 9th Congressional District. Malcolm said those subpoenaed in the case said they need more time to produce additional records.
I don't like the idea of the 9th District not having a Representative any more than the next person, but keep this in mind: Of the 435 district seats in the US House, there are always a handful that are unfilled. In 2018, 7 Representatives resigned and one died, and in 2017, 9 resigned, several of them to fill positions in the Trump administration. In other words, it's not a Constitutional crisis. But what *is* a Constitutional crisis is the distinct possibility that over 1,000 voters in the 9th District had their ballots destroyed:
Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a Democratic member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement that "real election fraud is playing out right before us" in North Carolina's 9th District.
"Votes have been stolen by preying on senior and minority voters, and now a cloud of doubt and suspicion hangs over this election result," he said.
The call for a congressional probe comes as North Carolina's elections board and local officials investigate the possibility that a man working for Republican candidate Mark Harris' campaign -- who got 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the race -- used absentee ballots to alter the vote in Bladen County.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman -- who was asked by Bladen County's district attorney in January to investigate allegations of fraud from the 2016 election -- told CNN on Wednesday that her office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations are probing whether absentee ballots were used to alter the vote in three 9th District elections, including the 2018 primary and general elections.
"Were ballots submitted that maybe were not voted by the person whose name they were submitted under? Were all of the ballots that people voted submitted? Were they appropriately submitted?" Freeman said, outlining the parameters of the investigation.
This fiasco has reached the point that, even if the NC BoE did go ahead and certify Mark Harris, unless there's overwhelming evidence he actually earned that seat, Congress may refuse to seat him. So this investigation needs to be extremely thorough, and that takes time.