Letter to the editor: Why is it only the 9th Congressional District Race Being Scrutinized?

For weeks we have been hearing about issues with the 9th Congressional District election. Mark Harris leads Dan McCready by 905 votes, but the State Board of Elections has twice failed to certify Harris’ victory.

 

Irregularities concerning absentee ballots and possible ballot harvesting, mainly in Bladen and Robeson counties, have been the focus of investigators, and the sticking point preventing the board from certifying the 9th Congressional District election.

There very well could have been some nefarious and/or illegal activity regarding absentee ballots in both Bladen and Robeson counties. That has yet to be proven, but is irrelevant to my question: “Why is it only the 9th Congressional District race being scrutinized?”

There were 14 contested elections in Bladen County in the November 2018 election and 13 in Robeson County. From the 9th CD race, through NCGA seats, down to elections for County Commissioner and School Boards, many decisions were made for representation on November 6,2018.

Yet, of those 27 contested elections, focus has been on only one, the 9th Congressional District contest. Individual ballots are not mailed out for each race. Absentee voters cast their vote on the exact same ballot as those standing in line on election day, or during early voting.

If the results are tainted due to absentee ballot irregularities for the 9th CD, and they very well may be, why would they not be tainted for all the other 26 contested elections within Bladen and Robeson counties?

Should the new Board of Elections use the authority under the law that states “irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness” to order a new election, would it not cast doubt on the “fairness” of every contested race on the ballots?

I cannot see how one race on a ballot can be tainted, when there were 12 or 13 other races on that same ballot in question that have been certified.

I have not seen this issue raised which is why I submit this letter today. If we ignore and certify the other 26 races on the ballot, and deem them not tainted, then you are on an expedition to upend one election. You are investigating based on the results of one election, and not the “integrity” of all elections.

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt

Richlands, NC

 

One comment

  • Excellent comment and question, Jonathan. I have wondered the same thing. I am not sure how close the other races were…and, that may have something to do with the decision to examine the congressional race. However, if it turns out that irregularities did exist, I would hope that the inquiry would be expanded.

    Liked by 1 person

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