SPOTLIGHT | ME-2 | NC-9

Midterm Overtime

Rep.-elect Mark Harris, R-N.C., reacts after drawing his number during the Member-elect room lottery draw on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Harris drew 76 out of 85, which determines the order in which he gets to select his new Capitol Hill office.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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Kyle Trygstad
Dec. 6, 2018, 10:26 a.m.

If runoffs didn’t extend the midterms long enough for you, legal drama churning in a pair of congressional districts could send it to double overtime.

A ballot fraud investigation in North Carolina's 9th District and a challenge to election law in Maine's 2nd District both have the potential to lead to brand new elections next year, which would extend the 2018 cycle well into the 116th Congress.

In North Carolina, a second election would give one of the four House incumbents who lost a primary, Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger, another shot to retain his seat and Democrats an opportunity to increase their net gains to 41. Mark Harris, who came less than 200 votes shy of unseating Pittenger in 2016, appeared to defeat Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes last month after toppling Pittenger by 828 votes in May.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine hopes to have his loss in the first ever congressional ranked-choice vote ruled unconstitutional. The Republican led on the initial ballot but didn’t eclipse 50 percent, and then lost to Democrat Jared Golden as voters’ ranked choices were tabulated. With a ruling expected next week, we’ll likely know his fate far sooner than investigators wrap up the mess in the Tar Heel State.

-- Kyle Trygstad

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