THE PLOT THICKENS

Report: Woman Claims She Gave North Carolina Absentee Ballots to GOP Candidate's ‘Contractor’

Amid an ongoing voter fraud investigation in North Carolina, a woman told a local news station on Monday that she was paid to pick up mail-in absentee ballots for the state’s 9th District House race and give them to an independent contractor for Republican Mark Harris’ campaign. “I was helping McCrae pick up ballots,” a woman identified as Ginger Eason told WSOC-TV, claiming contractor Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr.—identified as a convicted felon by The Charlotte Observer— paid her $75 to $100 a week to pick up the absentee ballots. After picking them up, Eason said, she gave them to Dowless and did not know what happened to them afterwards. According to WSOC, Eason was just one of eight people who repeatedly signed on as witnesses for 205 absentee ballots. When the local news station confronted Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr. over the allegations, he reportedly said he had “no comment.” The Charlotte Observer reports Dowless was convicted both of felony fraud and felony perjury in 1992 and 1990, respectively. The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement has so far refused to certify Harris’ midterm win against Democrat Dan McCready due to a probe into “claims of… concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee mail ballots.” The newspaper reports Harris won by 905 votes in November, with 420 of those being absentee votes.