Scandal-Plagued Race in North Carolina Might Not Be Decided for Another Nine Months

A new election will take place this fall.

Mark Harris, Republican candidate in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, testifies during a public evidentiary hearing on voting irregularities.Travis Long/AP

New election dates have been set for the scandal-plagued congressional race in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District—but a winner may not be declared for another nine months.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously Monday to schedule a new primary for May 14. The general election will be September 10 unless no candidate receives 30 percent of the vote in the Democratic or Republican primary, in which case there will be a runoff primary on September 10 and the general election will be moved to November 5.

The seat has been vacant since January after the board of elections refused to seat Republican candidate Mark Harris following evidence that a consultant hired by his campaign had committed absentee ballot fraud to help Harris win by just 905 votes. In February, the board unanimously ruled that the race was tainted by election fraud and ordered a new election. A week later, the consultant hired by Harris, McCrae Dowless of Bladen County, was indicted along with four others for “unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously” mishandling absentee ballots during the 2016 general election and 2018 primary.

A federal investigation is ongoing into Dowless’ conduct during the 2018 general election, where he stands accused of not submitting absentee ballots that may have been marked for Democrat Dan McCready while filling out some ballots for Harris without voters’ consent. 

McCready has pledged to run again, while Harris will not. The district leans Republican but is now considered a toss-up.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.