North Carolina is holding a special election Tuesday to both replace a deceased member of Congress and to decide the final House race of the 2018 midterm election. The Republican candidate was initially declared the victor in this race, but the results were thrown into question following accusations that someone working for the GOP had engaged in ballot fraud.
Why is the election still ongoing?
In November, Republican candidate Mark Harris received 905 more votes than his Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, in an election for one of North Carolina’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
However, a convicted felon named Leslie McCrae Dowless, who worked for Harris, was accused of paying people to manipulate the ballots. Harris initially insisted that he had never heard of Dowless’ criminal past, but in February his son, John Harris, testified that he had specifically informed his father about Harris’ alleged past election fraud.
Less than a week after John Harris’ testimony, Harris withdrew from the race, citing health concerns. Sen. Dan Bishop has taken Harris’ place.
President Donald Trump, who also endorsed Harris, has campaigned for Bishop, bashing McCready as “an ultra liberal” who “likes open borders and … really admires socialism.”
McCready, meanwhile, has said that this election “could be the canary in the coal mine for what is to come in 2020.”
What does this mean for Congress?
Even if Bishop wins, the GOP won’t come close to breaking the Democratic hold on the House of Representatives.
The 116th Congress is made up of 197 Republicans and 235 Democrats, with two vacancies and one independent.
The other vacancy, which is also from North Carolina, occurred when Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) died in February on his 76th birthday. On Tuesday, voters will also choose between state Rep. Greg Murphy (R) and former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas (D) to replace Jones.