North Carolina might be short one member of Congress when the new term begins. Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday that Democrats won't allow Republican Mark Harris to be sworn in next week because of an ongoing investigation into his November victory, reports the AP. "Given the now well-documented election fraud that took place in NC-09, Democrats would object to any attempt by Mr. Harris to be seated on January 3," Hoyer said, adding that "the integrity of our democratic process outweighs concerns about the seat being vacant at the start of the new Congress." The US Constitution states that the House is the judge of the elections of its members and the final arbiter of contests.
The state Elections Board has refused to certify the race between Harris and Democrat Dan McCready while it investigates absentee ballot irregularities in the district, located in the south-central part of the state. Harris holds a slim lead in unofficial results, but election officials are looking into criminal allegations against an operative hired by the Harris campaign. Things became even more uncertain Friday when the state dissolved its Elections Board on the order of a three-judge state panel. A new board was to be in place Jan. 31, per the Washington Post. (McCready initially conceded but has since rescinded that.)
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