Politics

To Seat or Not to Seat, For North Carolina Race, Pelosi Says That is The House’s Call

AP has retracted its call for the Republican as state officials investigate election

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated Thursday that the House decides whom to seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked Thursday about allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District, said deciding whom is seated is up to the House itself, not an outside authority or state election board. 

“The House still retains the right to decide who is seated,” she said. “Any member-elect can object to the seating or the swearing in of another member-elect, and we’ll see how that goes.”

“The House Administration Committee will have full investigative authority to determine the winner of the election,” Pelosi added. 

Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes, according to unofficial results in the 9th District. The Associated Press retracted its call for Harris last week and is treating the race as if it’s proceeded to a recount. 

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, the incoming majority leader, told reporters this week that Democrats could refuse to seat Harris. 

Unknowns

The state’s election officials have delayed certification of the results and are investigating allegations of election fraud in the 9th District having to do with absentee ballots. A North Carolina woman on Tuesday admitted to illegally “harvesting” ballots for a contractor working for Harris’ campaign.

The board could decide to certify the election or call for a new one. Pelosi said she doesn’t think the option of a recount is likely to be pursued at this juncture. 

“This is bigger than that one seat,” Pelosi said. “This is about undermining the integrity of our elections.”

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