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Charlotte Area News

Cooper Moves To Reassemble Elections Board

Mark Harris For Congress / Dan McCready For Congress

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is trying to move fast to reassemble the disbanding state elections board investigating ballot fraud allegations in a still-unresolved 9th District congressional race.

Cooper today asked the state Democratic and Republican parties to nominate by the end of the day the five members he'll appoint. Cooper was forced into action after a three-judge state panel on Thursday refused to extend the life of the current nine-member elections board previously declared unconstitutional.

The elections board is investigating reports of potential ballot fraud in the 9th district congressional race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.

The Wake County Superior Court ruling is critical of the board’s decision to wait until Jan. 11 to conduct a hearing without “even a cursory explanation as to why” it was postponed. The board had previously said the hearing would be held by Dec. 21.

The ruling says the voters are entitled to have their elected representative in place by then, or to know why they won’t.

Cooper says he plans to appoint five members of the current elections board to serve until the end of next month — beyond the investigation into the congressional race.

Meanwhile, Mark Harris, who has a 905-vote lead, filed an emergency petition today with the state Board of Elections asking for certification before the board’s dissolution at noon today. The petition says voters have a right to congressional representation despite an ongoing investigation into ballot fraud allegations.