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NC Republicans Express Concern Over Timing Of Early Vote Count

Bladen County's board of elections in Elizabethtown.
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State Republican leaders say they're concerned about a report that Bladen County elections officials may have broken state rules by counting early votes before Election Day in November.  If that happened, they say they'll call for a new election in the 9th Congressional District. 

Unofficial results show Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. But the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement has not certified the result because of potential election fraud.

State Republican Party chairman Robin Hayes and party executive director Dallas Woodhouse are calling on the state board to quickly investigate the early voting allegations.  

"If it happened, a new election is warranted," Woodhouse said. "And if a new election is warranted, the state must seize control of all election operations in Bladen county, because it is clear the Bladen County election apparatus is incapable of administering fair elections."

Documents released by the state board of elections show that Bladen County officials counted early votes on Nov. 3, three days before Election Day. By law, those ballots are not supposed to be counted until the polls close on Election Day. 

Woodhouse and Hayes call early vote tallying unfair and say the party "can never tolerate the state putting its thumb on the scale."

The Associated Press reports that Republican lawmakers aim to pass a law making clear that new primary races would also be held if the state board calls for a new election. 

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.