(Reuters) – North Carolina’s elections board on Thursday ordered a new election for a U.S. House seat after officials said corruption surrounding absentee ballots tainted the results of a 2018 vote that has embarrassed the Republican Party.
The bipartisan board’s 5-0 decision came after Republican candidate Mark Harris, confronted by days of evidence that an operative for his campaign orchestrated a ballot fraud scheme, called for a new vote in the state’s 9th Congressional District.
“It’s become clear to me that the public’s confidence in the 9th District seat general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted,” Harris said on the fourth day of the hearing in Raleigh, the state capital.
Elections Board Chairman Bob Cordle said “the corruption” and “absolute mess” with absentee ballots had cast doubt on the entire contest.
“It certainly was a tainted election,” Cordle said. “The people of North Carolina deserve a fair election.”