With more evidence surfacing of possible election fraud in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District, but no concrete indication yet as to how state elections officials will deal with the questions involved in the race, Democrats on Capitol Hill called Wednesday for an investigation, saying the Congress needs to review evidence of possible absentee ballot fraud.
“While the Republican majority is once again chasing conspiracies, real election fraud is playing out right before us,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who called on Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, to ‘hold an emergency hearing’ this month on the matter.
“What we're seeing in #NC09 is nothing short of a subversion of democracy,” tweeted Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA).
Congress rarely involves itself in election disputes for seats in the House – in the past 35 years, there have only been two notable examples:
+ In 1984, Republicans won Indiana’s 8th Congressional District by just 34 votes. Democrats in the U.S. House created a three member panel to review the race, and ruled after a recount that the Democrat had won by four votes. That result prompted a GOP walkout, and created partisan turmoil in the Congress.
+ In 1998, Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA) bitterly contested his election defeat to Democrat Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). But a three member panel set up by the House GOP ruled against Dornan, who had charged that he lost due to voter fraud and illegally cast ballots.
There have been other minor challenges, though most were denied because of a lack of evidence.
But in this race from North Carolina – there is no shortage of evidence which raises questions about the final tally, as Bladen County has seen odd results over the past ten years in terms of absentee ballots, which have benefited both Democrats and Republicans at times.
While Republicans are currently in charge of the U.S. House, any decision on the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready – which Harris won by 905 votes – would be made in the 116th Congress, when Democrats are in charge.
The new Congress convenes on January 3, 2019.