March 4 (UPI) — The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously Monday to set dates for a special election to settle the race for the 9th Congressional District after uncovering evidence of an illegal absentee ballot scheme.
Filing for the election will begin March 11, the primary election will be held May 14 and the general election will be held Sept. 10, The Charlotte Observer reported.
If no candidate wins more than 30 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held Sept. 10 and the general election will be held Nov. 5.
The board’s director, Kim Strach, said the dates allow time to provide staff on the ground in Bladen and Robeson counties to help election oversight.
“We think it is extremely important that our staff be on the ground in Bladen and Robeson County throughout this process, ensuring that training and, basically, all aspects of election preparation are done with our oversight,” she said.
The board chose not to certify the results of the election in which Republican candidate Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes after hearing four days of testimony on allegations of voter fraud.
Political operative McCrae Dowless was indicted on three felony counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of an absentee ballot Wednesday in connection with the election.
Harris hired Dowless to organize a voting initiative in Bladen and Robeson counties last year, and Dowless was accused of illegally taking mail-in ballots from voters during the 2016 general election and the 2018 primary.
Last week, Harris announced he won’t take part in the new election, citing an “extremely serious condition” he faced in mid-January that led him to need surgery in the last week of March.
A new field of Republican candidates has been assembling to likely face McCready in the new election.