North Carolina board calls political operative a 'person of interest' in election fraud probe

North Carolina's State Board of Elections on Friday named Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., a political operative w...

Posted: Dec 9, 2018 8:48 AM
Updated: Dec 9, 2018 8:48 AM

North Carolina's State Board of Elections on Friday named Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., a political operative who worked for Republican candidate Mark Harris, as "a person of interest in connection with an alleged absentee ballot operation in the congressional district."

The news comes as the Wake County District Attorney's office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation investigate criminal allegations that Dowless used absentee ballots to alter the vote in Bladen County in the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District. Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by only 905 votes.

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Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman confirmed Friday that the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

"I will confirm we have had the assistance of the FBI," Freeman said. The FBI would not confirm or deny if it was investigating.

Now, investigators are probing whether some absentee ballots were altered by Dowless and a loosely connected group working with him, or if ballots collected from voters were never turned in.

Dowless worked for Red Dome Group, a GOP political consulting firm that Harris paid more than $400,000.

CNN has made multiple daily attempts to reach Dowless for comment. He has not returned CNN's calls. He has denied wrongdoing to The Charlotte Observer.

According to a statement from the board, it has issued subpoenas for documents to Red Dome Group, the Mark Harris for Congress Committee and the James Atlas McVicker Committee.

The statement also said that the board plans to schedule an evidentiary hearing as it weighs whether to certify the election results in the race.

On Friday, Harris tweeted a video statement where he said he would support a new election if there is evidence of election fraud.

"I'm hopeful that this process will ultimately result in the certification of my election to Congress before the next House session begins," Harris said in the video. "However, if this investigation finds proof of illegal activity on either side to such a level that it could have changed the outcome of the election then I will wholeheartedly support a new election to ensure all voters have confidence in the results."

Earlier this week, McCready withdrew his concession in the race amid investigations surrounding the allegations of election fraud.

"I didn't serve overseas in the Marines to come home to NC and watch a criminal, bankrolled by my opponent, take away people's very right to vote," McCready tweeted. "Today I withdraw my concession and call on Mark Harris to end his silence and tell us exactly what he knew, and when."

CNN reported Friday Harris' campaign still owed more than $53,000 after last month's election to Red Dome Group.

More than $34,000 of Harris' debt to Red Dome Group centered on a "reimbursement payment for Bladen absentee" work and other election efforts, according to a post-election report Harris' campaign filed late Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. Red Dome had hired Dowless to perform get-out-the-vote work for Harris' campaign.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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