North Carolina: Election-fraud investigation centers on operative with criminal history who worked for GOP congressional candidate | The Washington Post

In a low-slung, aging commercial strip across the street from an online-gaming parlor here, a local operative named Leslie McCrae Dowless ran his command center for Republican Mark Harris in the 9th Congressional District primary this spring. Dowless sat at a desk at the back of one of the strip’s vacant storefronts, where he oversaw a crew of workers who collected absentee ballots from voters and updated the Harris campaign on the numbers, according to Jeff Smith, who is the building’s owner and a former Dowless friend. Smith provided his account about the primary campaign to state investigators, who are examining whether Dowless’s activities then and in the general election violated North Carolina’s election laws, which allow only individual voters or designated close relatives to mail a ballot. Dowless is now at the center of a burgeoning fraud investigation that has delayed the certification of Harris’s narrow victory and could prompt officials to call for a new election between him and Democrat Dan McCready, who are separated by 905 votes, according to unofficial returns.

Full Article: North Carolina election-fraud investigation centers on operative with criminal history who worked for GOP congressional candidate - The Washington Post.

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