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GOP Official Arrested Over Election Fraud In N.C. Now Charged With Ballot-Rigging In Another Race

Leslie McCrae Dowless indicted

A North Carolina Republican, who is already charged in a voter fraud scheme that voided a congressional election was hit with numerous new charges related to another race where he is accused of election rigging.

Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was the mastermind behind an election plot to help Republican Mark Harris to win North Carolina’s 9th congressional district in 2018 by tampering with the ballots —the election was nullified due to mounting evidence of ballot fraud — has been indicted on two counts of felony obstruction of justice, perjury, solicitation to commit perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice and possession of an absentee ballot, The Raleigh News & Observer reported.

Dowless, who has been free on $30,000 bond, is expected to turn himself in following the new charges, which stem from his work for Harris in the 2018 general election.

Six of Dowless’ alleged co-conspirators were also charged, but Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told the News & Observer that more indictments may be coming.

“This is a large investigation,” Freeman said. “It involves multiple election cycles, multiple individuals alleged to be involved in this election fraud.”

According to the indictment, Dowless “instructed individuals to sign certifications indicating they had witnessed the voter vote and properly executed the absentee ballot when they had not, and mailed or instructed others to mail the absentee ballot in such a manner to conceal the fact that the voter had not personally mailed it himself.”

After the election last November, Harris led Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes. But North Carolina election officials refused to certify the race due to evidence of widespread ballot fraud related to Dowless’ work on the campaign.

A special election is scheduled for Sept. 10. Democrat Dan McCready, who trailed Harris in the fraud-tainted race last year, is running neck-and-neck with Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop, according to a recent poll.


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