Democrats and Republicans have nominated members for a reconstituted North Carolina elections board tasked with resolving the nation's last undecided congressional election.
The new board will decide if Republican Mark Harris won the 9th Congressional District race in November or could order a new election because of absentee ballot irregularities in the district. Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.
The state parties' leaders this week each provided four board nominees to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who makes appointments from those slates. There will be three Democrats and two Republicans on the board.
A new law created the five-member board, which begins Jan. 31. It succeeds a nine-member board that was struck down by a court as unconstitutional and ceased to exist in late December.
Missing from the Democrats' nominees is Josh Malcolm, the chairman of the previous board. Malcolm said Thursday he decided it was best for the board and for him that he not serve. Malcolm was vice chairman in November when he made the motion not to certify 9th District results, citing the investigation. The Republican Party has been criticizing Malcolm since.
"I think I've done good work on the state board of elections and positioned them well to protect the ballot box," Malcolm told The Charlotte Observer. He didn't return a phone message Thursday from The Associated Press.
The Democrats' slate of nominees includes previous members of the recent nine-member board in Stella Anderson, Bob Cordle and Valerie Johnson, along with former Wake County election board member Greg Flynn.
Republicans offered previous board member Stacy "Four" Eggers, along with Buck Newton, Francis De Luca and Eddie Woodhouse. Woodhouse also previously served on the Wake County board. Newton was the Republicans' 2016 nominee for attorney general. De Luca used to lead the conservative-leaning Civitas Institute in Raleigh.
The state Democratic Party questioned Thursday whether the nominations of three Republicans — all but Eggers — complied with new state laws limiting some recent political activity by board members. State GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse wrote in a text he believed all four met the law's requirement. The Woodhouses are cousins.
Cooper is reviewing the nominees and their eligibility, spokesman Ford Porter said.
A state judge this week refused to certify Harris the winner without a board present, saying the new board was best positioned to decide on the outcome. No date has been set on any investigatory hearing by the new board to consider evidence and question witnesses.