Most everyone who follows North Carolina politics got a bit of a shock Tuesday evening when the State Board of Elections refused to certify the 9th Congressional District's election results, and by a unanimous vote (4 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 1 Unaffiliated), moved to open an investigation surrounding the contest that saw Republican Mark Harris win by 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready.
The State Board moved to investigate the issue, on the suggestion by the Democratic vice-chair of the board, when word came forward that possible irregularities in Bladen County, and later in Robeson County, caused concern regarding the election results. Specifically, Democrat Joshua Malcolm, the board's vice chair, contended that:
“I’m very familiar with the unfortunate activities that have happened in my part of the state," Malcolm said during the (NC State Board of Elections') meeting. "And I am not going to turn a blind eye to what took place to the best of my understanding, which has been ongoing for a number of years, and which has been repeatedly referred to the United States attorney and the district attorneys to clean up. Those things have not taken place.”
As WFAE reported, the issue may hang on an "unusual" number of absentee ballots coming into Bladen County.