Lawyer: No basis for congressional race ballot fraud hearing

Lawyer: No basis for congressional race ballot fraud hearing
FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2018 file photo Republican Mark Harris speaks to the media during a news conference in Matthews, N.C. The North Carolina board investigating allegations of ballot fraud in a still-unresolved congressional race between Harris and Democrat Dan McCready could be disbanded Friday, Dec. 28 under a state court ruling in a protracted legal battle about how the panel operates. The state Elections Board has refused to certify the race between Harris and McCready while it investigates absentee ballot irregularities in the congressional district stretching from the Charlotte area through several counties to the east. Harris holds a slim lead in unofficial results, but election officials are looking into criminal allegations against an operative hired by the Harris campaign. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A lawyer for the Republican in the country’s last undecided congressional race says he doesn’t think a hearing that aims to find evidence of alleged ballot fraud can happen.

Attorney David Freedman of Winston-Salem says he hasn’t called witnesses for the Jan. 11 hearing because an elections board hasn’t been authorized to examine evidence or take action.

Freedman represents Mark Harris, the front-runner in the race to represent North Carolina’s 9th congressional district. Democrat Dan McCready trails Harris by a small margin.

The elections board was dissolved on Friday by judges who months ago declared its form unconstitutional. A revamped board takes effect Jan. 31.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper claims he can re-establish the state elections board in time for the hearing. Republicans are threatening to sue if he tries.