State Grand Jury Indicts McCrae Dowless In Absentee Ballot Scheme

The Washington Post/The Washington Post

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.

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