House race in Bladen County unresolved after voter fraud accusations

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BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - One state congressional race is still undecided after accusations of election fraud.

The Board of Elections is investigating reports of tampering with the absentee ballots in Bladen County.

It centers around the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready for the 9th Congressional District seat.

Harris finished ahead of McCready by 905 votes, with 60% of the absentee ballots cast for him, even though only 19% of the absentee ballots were cast by Republicans and 39% by voters who didn’t identify with a party.

Additionally, Bladen County court documents show the same witness signature showing up on dozens of the votes.

Some voters, like Datesha Montgomery, claim that strangers came to their door and offered to collect their ballots and even fill them out.

"I didn't fill it out. I filled it out on the porch, I chose 2 names, I signed it and she asked could she have it. And I gave it to her, it wasn't sealed and she said she would seal it herself. Come to find out she never sealed it or turned it in," said Montgomery.

Cheryl Kinlaw, who was paid to collect the ballots, said, "We were asked to pick up absentee ballots. He told us he would put gas in our car, and a little bit of money during the week to help out." She added, "Once I dropped them off at his office, we assumed he was putting them in the mail."

The board refuses to certify the results until an investigation is complete.

The state election commission will hold an investigative hearing no later than December 21.