Longtime GOP operative indicted in North Carolina election fraud scandal


McCrae Dowless, the operative hired by North Carolina Republican nominee Mark Harris, was indicted on seven separate counts related to election fraud.

McCrae Dowless, an operative hired by Republican nominee Mark Harris in North Carolina, was indicted Wednesday morning on seven separate counts related to election fraud. The indictment — related to activities during the 2016 general election and 2018 primary — includes three counts of felonious obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, and two counts of possession of absentee ballot. Some of Dowless' colleagues face charges of obstruction of justice and possession of an absentee ballot.

Dowless was hired by Harris in the 2018 campaign for the 9th Congressional District, even after being warned by his own son that Dowless was a shady character. Dowless hired others to collect absentee ballots, and in some cases fill in the ballots for Harris. Both activities are illegal in North Carolina.

After his campaign engaged in alleged election fraud, Harris received roughly 900 more votes than his Democratic opponent.

The North Carolina Board of Elections unanimously decided last week that it could not certify Harris as the legitimate winner, and called for a new election to take place. It will be the first congressional election do-over in more than 40 years.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that a Republican candidate financed an election fraud scheme to steal a House seat, GOP leaders have made the ludicrous claim that Democrats were somehow responsible for the fraud. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, issued a vague statement attacking Democrats for Harris' alleged election fraud.

In an even more ridiculous moment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to cast aspersions at Democrats for scandal. McConnell tried to conflate voter fraud, an extremely uncommon crime when voters themselves engage in criminal activity, with election fraud, whereby voters are the ones who are harmed.

In North Carolina, it was election fraud, financed by the Republican nominee Harris and carried out by the now-indicted Dowless.

Dowless was released on $30,000 bond, and will soon face justice for for his alleged crimes.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.