North Carolina's governor says he's vetoing legislation directing new elections if fraud is found in a disputed U.S. House race because he says the hastily approved bill also adds new protections for lobbyists and people who violate campaign finance laws.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he'll sign the legislation if state lawmakers remove the section. Cooper objects to details like requiring that state elections officials refer apparent campaign finance crimes to a separate commission for a confidential review on whether prosecutors are notified.
The bill also would require new primary elections in addition to a new general election if mishandled ballots or other problems cast doubt on the true result in the 9th Congressional District race and force a redo.
Unofficial results show Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. Harris, who allegedly benefited from ballot fraud,that his campaign was "fully cooperating" with the state Board of Elections' investigation and that he supported holding a new election. Harris has denied knowledge of any wrongdoing on behalf of his campaign.
The North Carolina Republican Partylast week after a new allegation was raised over leaked early voting tallies in a Bladen County precinct. North Carolina GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said, "We are pretty certain that happened, and if it is confirmed a new election is appropriate." He went on to say that access to early voting information has been a concern for years.