RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina judge is considering whether he must order the victory of the Republican in the country's last undecided congressional race despite an investigation into whether his lead was boosted by illegal vote-collection tactics.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said Tuesday that he's unclear why Republican Mark Harris' lawyers insist he decides the winner when he doesn't know what investigators found.

Harris narrowly leads Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th District race. There are allegations that mail-in ballots could have been altered or discarded by a Harris subcontractor.

The state elections board was disbanded by an unrelated court order last month, and a new one takes over in nine days.

Harris's attorneys say the judge should step in because the district's residents urgently need a representative in Washington, D.C.

Lawyers for McCready and the state elections board want the lawsuit dismissed.

Democrats in the U.S. House indicate they'll also to look into the allegations.