More alarming connections have emerged between Mark Harris and Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., the Bladen County official at the epicenter of allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, and the Harris campaign owes transparency and answers to the public.
Last week Andy Yates, Harris’s lead strategist, confirmed that Dowless – a felon previously convicted and incarcerated for fraud – was paid by Yates’s firm, Red Dome, to do “grassroots” work helping the Harris campaign.
And today, The Charlotte Observer reported that Harris himself not only knows Dowless but introduced him and recommended his services to another candidate for office. This came to light at the same time as the news that of 162 Bladen County absentee ballot envelopes reviewed by Popular Information, a large majority of them, 130, had witness signatures from a small group of just 8 individuals – some of whom are even related to Dowless.
But that’s not all. One of the “ballot harvesters” who worked with Dowless has now told WSOC-TV that she was instructed to inform voters about Harris specifically and that she did not mail in the absentee ballots she collected at all, but instead gave them to Dowless.
For his part, Harris has attacked the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement for not certifying his election before the board completes the investigation they voted for with bipartisan support.
But neither Harris nor Yates have come clean with details about what it was that Dowless actually did on behalf of Harris’s candidacy while on the payroll of Yates’s firm.
“These allegations of systematic election fraud in Bladen County have grown into a national firestorm, throwing the integrity of the race into question, and Mark Harris’s campaign – specifically his top strategist – owes the people of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district answers now,” said American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates. “The mounting evidence of illegal activity undertaken to slant this election in Harris’s favor must be addressed, and the bipartisan investigation must be allowed to continue without interference.”