State Grand Jury Indicts McCrae Dowless In Absentee Ballot Scheme

BLADENBORO, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 5: Leslie McCrae Dowless sits in his kitchen in Bladenboro, NC. Dowless who worked provide get-out-the-vote services for Republican candidate Mark Harris in North Carolinas 9th Co... BLADENBORO, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 5: Leslie McCrae Dowless sits in his kitchen in Bladenboro, NC. Dowless who worked provide get-out-the-vote services for Republican candidate Mark Harris in North Carolinas 9th Congressional District in Bladen County, NC. The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement decided not to certify the 9th Congressional District election results, which includes Bladen County, between Harris and Democrat Dan McCready due to possible voter fraud involving absentee ballots. A controversy Leslie McCrae Dowless is at the center of. (Photo by Justin Kase Conder for The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS

McCrae Dowless, a campaign operative for Republican Mark Harris in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, has been indicted on state charges by a grand jury due to his absentee ballot plot.

The indictment includes three counts of felonious obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of absentee ballot.

Four of his employees are also named in the indictment, each charged with one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of possession of an absentee ballot. Matthew Mattis, one of the employees listed, is also charged with falsely signing the voter certification on an absentee ballot.

Notably, not listed is Lisa Britt, the McCrae worker whose testimony about altering absentee ballots provided the first flashpoint during explosive Board of Elections hearings investigating the race.

Dowless has been arrested and is currently being held on $30,000 bail. The cases are set to be heard at Wake County Superior Court starting March 25.

The North Carolina Board of Elections has not yet completed its own investigation into the race, though it has called for a new congressional election in the 9th District as well as for a handful of smaller races in the tainted Bladen County, where Dowless operated.

Dowless is rumored to have run an absentee ballot fraud scheme before, when he worked on the 2016 Republican primary for Todd Johnson. The most damning testimony for Harris during the hearings centered on the idea that he knew about Dowless’ illegal tactics, and hired him anyway.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: