Republicans had warnings of vote fraud before North Carolina election

North Carolina candidate paid $428k to consulting firm linked to alleged ballot tampering

State officials investigate potential election fraud in North Carolina; emergency hearing possible

GOP representative Mark Harris at a postelection press conference.

The nation's last unresolved fall congressional race with Republican Mark Harris against Democrat Dan McCready.

Harris, a Baptist minister who ousted Rep. Robert Pittenger in a Republican primary this year, leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Republicans should be concerned as well, because Dowless also operated in the GOP primary, and the allegations have significance beyond North Carolina.

"There's reason to doubt the capacity of the State Board of Elections", state Sen. Harris won 61 percent of the absentee-by-mail vote in Bladen County, even though just 19 percent of the returned and accepted ballots came from Republicans. But the state elections board has refused to certify the results as it investigates potential misconduct with absentee ballots, making it the last undecided House contest in the country.

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The Democrat trailing in a North Carolina congressional race withdrew his concession Thursday as state election officials investigated allegations of absentee ballot fraud.

"What we know is the people down in Bladen County are scoundrels". If the board hasn't certified the results by January 3, when the new Congress is sworn in, any member can object to Harris being seated. As my colleague Eric Levitz describes, local and national news outlets continue to uncover evidence of electoral fraud committed by an operative hired by Harris's campaign.

There's now new evidence that links Dowless to Robeson County and suggests he employed at least one person there: Jennifer Boyd, who served as one of two legally required witnesses for an unusually high number of people, 55, when they filled out their absentee ballots, according to a WSOC review of the forms. Wake County district attorney Lorrin Freeman told CNN on Wednesday that many appear to have been destroyed.

In recent days, amid mounting allegations of a ballot-harvesting operation, state Republicans have shifted their rhetoric.

Harris may not be the only Republican to have benefited from Dowless's work, either.

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"The news report are horrifying".

He recalled concluding that Harris had won the overall vote with a strong showing from evangelical voters, but he said: "We did not look real specifically at absentee ballots".

A little background on Dowless: Dowless is the vice chair of the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District board.

"If they can say with a strong degree of certainty that the outcome of the race was changed or there is a substantial likelihood that it could have been, the law requires that there be a new election, and we would not oppose", said Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, in an interview with NPR.

Voting restrictions became the central issue in Georgia's close gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, with Abrams accusing Kemp of abusing his office to cement his party's hold on power.

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A campaign lawyer said earlier this week that it wasn't aware of any illegal conduct in the 9th District race.

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