A letter obtained by The Associated Press shows that North Carolina's top elections official issued an urgent plea nearly two years ago for the Justice Department to file criminal charges against those at the center of 2018 ballot fraud allegations.
State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach warned in the January 2017 letter that if those involved in illegally gathering absentee ballots in Bladen County weren't prosecuted the violations would likely recur in future elections. Elections officials say the memo was followed less than a month later with an in-person meeting where state investigators gave federal prosecutors evidence against those accused of fraud.
Allegations of fraud have thrown a 2018 North Carolina Congressional race into turmoil.
The office of U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon has declined to comment.