WAKE COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Today the battle over North Carolina’s lone open Congressional district goes even deeper into court.
The State Board of Elections and Democratic candidate Dan McCready responded in court to Mark Harris, the unofficial winner, who asked a court to step in.
The investigation into voting irregularities in Bladen county still holds this race in limbo.
Now that there will not be a new State Board of Elections until the end of the month, the election has gone to court. However, the State and McCready hope it goes no further.
Republican Mark Harris remains firm that he belongs in Washington regardless of the alleged voter fraud that has been gathered by the state in the 2018 race.
“We again believe that I should be certified,” said Harris outside of an interview he was having with state investigators hours before he filed the writ.
One of the key points his attorneys made to a Wake County judge in a petition to be certified was the simple vote margin from November.
“We don’t believe the number of ballots in question would change the outcome of this election,” said Harris to a press pool of reporters.
Harris’s attorneys also point out that no recount nor protest was ever filed over the election outcome. They submitted a writ of mandamus to the court January 3rd.
On Monday, the State Board and McCready’s attorneys had their chance to talk.
Both groups asked for a denial of Harris’s request.
McCready’s attorneys make the claim that Harris’s request, “fails to satisfy even one –let alone all — of the legal requirements.”
They went on the say the writ is only granted in “extraordinary” circumstances and with no other options available.
McCready’s lawyers argues that the other alternative is for the investigation to continue and a public hearing of the evidence needs to take place.
The request requires Harris prove that he has a legal right to the congressional office. Furthermore, to prove that the State Board has failed to do its job as well as show that there’s no way to fix it but to have a judge decide.
Harris’s attorneys cite a 2017 case where a judge made the opinion that the, “the inability of the State Board to act is effectively considered to be a denial by the State Board.” Harris’s attorneys say that is the exact situation. They say his election certification has been indirectly denied and have requested an appeal of that indirect decision to the court.
The State Board attorneys, including the Attorney General’s Office, say Harris has failed to establish any basis for the request.
They continuously cite the board’s mission statement to, “assure that an election is determined without taint of fraud or corruption and without irregularities.”
The attorneys argue that the NCSBE does not need to have an official protest filed in order to investigate.
They also targeted the specific request by Harris’s attorneys to have NCSBE Executive Director Kim Strach to certify the race. Board attorneys argued that the board is under no legal obligation to certify the results while an investigation is underway and that only the board can certify, not Strach.
The court is now working to determine an official hearing date for Harris’s case