RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s elections board has ordered a new election in the nation’s last undecided congressional race after reviewing evidence that it was tainted by absentee ballot fraud.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted 5-0 on Thursday to hold a new election in the Ninth Congressional District. The board did not immediately set a schedule.

Following last November’s election, Republican Mark Harris had held a slim lead over Democrat Dan McCready in unofficial results from the district running from Charlotte through several counties to the east.

But the state refused to certify the win because of absentee-ballot irregularities.


Harris said Thursday during the hearing that he thought a new election should be called.

GOP candidate Mark Harris was leading Democrat Dan McCready when the count of the Nov. 6 vote was put on hold to examine the allegations.

The Republican’s recommendation followed a morning of tense testimony, a day after his son told the election board that he had warned his father about potential problems with a political operative hired by Harris.

The hearing in North Carolina this week focused on allegations that Leslie McCrae Dowless, hired by Harris’s campaign, directed a team that illegally collected and tampered with absentee ballots. Harris had a 905-vote lead over McCready in last year’s unofficial tally, which a previous election board declined to certify.