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The new election in a North Carolina congressional district required after last year's contest was deemed tainted by a Republican political operative's ballot collection efforts is expected to cost taxpayers more than $1.2 million.
Top North Carolina elections officials say the ballot-rigging investigation that voided a congressional election and forced one of the country's few do-over races simply followed the money.
North Carolina's elections chief wants lawmakers to put additional restrictions on handling absentee ballot forms after its investigation into actual absentee ballots that affected a congressional district race last year.
Unsealed search warrants show that a North Carolina political operative suspected of illegally handling election ballots in 2016 was under state and FBI surveillance when he and associates used ATMs days before last year's primary.
The Republican in the nation's last undecided congressional election said Monday he recruited a political operative now at the center of a ballot fraud investigation because he produced election results in his rural North Carolina county and other Republicans vouched for him.
Long before accusations of absentee ballot fraud in a small North Carolina county cast doubt on the results of a heated 2018 congressional race, a state elections investigator spent weeks probing whether the man at the center of the current scandal was among a group buying votes.
A letter obtained by The Associated Press shows that North Carolina's top elections official issued an urgent plea nearly two years ago for the Justice Department to file criminal charges against those at the center of 2018 ballot fraud allegations.
North Carolina elections officials had sought criminal charges after the 2016 election against the man now at the center of absentee ballot fraud allegations, but prosecutors didn't indict him before the disputed 2018 congressional race.