North Carolina political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless was indicted and arrested Wednesday amid an investigation into an alleged absentee-ballot fraud operation he ran during the disputed 2018 race for North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.
Dowless is charged with three felony counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, and two counts of possession of absentee ballots.
The news of his indictment followed the unanimous decision from the State Board of Elections to hold a new election in the district given Dowless’ work in the race on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris.
Harris himself said during explosive testimony last week that he would support a new election and, on Tuesday, he ruled out a run in the do-over race, citing personal health issues.
His Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, who trailed Harris by 905 votes in the initial vote count, has announced that he will run again.
“These indictments should serve as a stern warning to anyone trying to defraud elections in North Carolina,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, State Board executive director. “Today is a new and better day for elections in our state.”