Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the House of Representatives would be closely watching North Carolina’s yet undecided 9th Congressional district race, and might even call for a new election if they find it impossible to determine a winner.
“The House Administration Committee will have full investigative authority to determine the winner of the election,” Pelosi said according to The Hill.
“And … only if it’s impossible to determine who the winner is, would we take the extraordinary step of calling for a new election.”
North Carolina’s 9th District has been one of the hotly contested races requiring an unusually long time to determine a winner, due to the fact that a number of voters have emerged with sworn statements saying that their absentee ballots were hand collected by canvassers, which is prohibited in the state, The Hill reported.
Those testimonies fueled suspicion that there was foul play involved in the election, and several people have claimed that they were paid by a GOP campaign operative who is a convicted felon, to collect the ballots illegally.
Currently, the Republican candidate, Mark Harris, has a 905 vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready.
The State board of elections has as yet refused to certify the results in this election, and cited “irregularities,” as the reason.
The board is expected to meet before Dec. 21 to decide how they will handle the results, according to The Hill’s report.
Pelosi, who is expected to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives, when Democrats take control next term, said on Thursday that there are several scenarios she’s anticipating from the state board members.
Pelosi said that the state board of elections could certify the results as they stand, they could call for a new election within 75 days, pitting Harris versus McCready once again; or they could “just throw the whole thing out and say we’re starting from scratch,” she said.
No matter what choice the state decides to take, the House will have some control, since, the Constitution empowers the House to judge election outcomes and determine who should join the chamber.
“The House still retains the right to decide who is seated,” Pelosi said Thursday.
“Any member-elect can object to the seating and swearing in of another member-elect. And we’ll see how that goes,” Pelosi said.
“As you know, it’s not just the Democrats who have a problem with how it went in North Carolina. The Republicans have a problem, too. Because it affected their primary election.
“This is bigger than that one seat,” she added. “This is about undermining the integrity of our elections.”