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North Carolina’s 9th district Republican candidate at a campaign rally last year. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Thursday voted to call a new election for the state's 9th congressional district amid evidence of ballot-tampering.

Why it matters: This comes days after the board said its investigation found evidence that a political operative working on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris had coordinated an "unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme," including efforts of a cover-up.

The backdrop: Harris told the board moments before its unanimous ruling to order a new election to settle the country’s last unresolved midterm House race — a sharp reversal from his previous calls and a failed court challenge last month for election officials to certify him. It did not immediately set a date.

  • Harris holds an unofficial 905-vote lead over his Democratic opponent, but the board had declined to certify him as a winner last year due to claims of "numerous" absentee voting irregularities and later launched a probe.

Also on Thursday, the board's fourth day of hearings into voting irregularities, Harris told the five-member panel he had no knowledge of any election fraud. But he did acknowledge that he ignored warnings from his son about the Republican operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless.

  • John Harris, an assistant U.S. attorney in Raleigh, said under oath Wednesday that he had expressed misgivings about Dowless to his father in 2017 after analyzing absentee-ballot returns in 9th district in 2016. The elder Harris had narrowly lost the GOP primary and Dowless worked for the another Republican candidate.
  • The younger Harris' testimony contradicted his father's claim last month that he never heard any red flags about Dowless before hiring him.

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Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

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