WATCH: Criminal investigation launched to investigate Republican voter fraud in North Carolina congressional race
Republican Mark Harris speaking at a MAGA rally (screengrab)

The Wake County District Attorney, Lorrin Freeman, revealed on Monday the existence of an active criminal investigation to "potential voting irregularities" in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, The News Observer reports.

The investigation began early this year and incorporates allegations from 2016 in addition to the 2018 primary and general election.

The state elections board has declined twice to certify the 9th congressional district race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.

To explain the importance, MSNBC anchor Ari Melber brought on Gerry Cohen, a former special counsel for the North Carolina General Assembly, who worked for the legislature for almost four decades.

"There's been allegations of fraud and mail-in absentee voting in Bladen County in both the May Republican primary and the general election," Cohen explained. "Just in the last half hour, the Raleigh District Attorney announced she has had an active criminal investigation since the May primary."

"It's alleged that perhaps absentee ballot applications were fraudulently obtained -- ballots were taken from voters and destroyed or marked for a certain candidate," he continued.

"There's an unusually high number of black and Native American voters in that area who applied for absentee ballots and never returned them," he added.