Federal grand jury investigating North Carolina ballot fraud

McCraw Dowless (left) waits for a NC Board of Elections hearing about the 9th Congressional District race to begin in Raleigh on Feb. 18, 2019. (Photo: Pool)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A federal grand jury meeting in North Carolina is weighing whether to recommend criminal charges in the tainted congressional race.

The grand jury is meeting Tuesday through Thursday in Raleigh to review election irregularities in the 9th Congressional District.

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State elections board spokesman Pat Gannon said Wednesday that the agency turned over extensive documents subpoenaed last month. Documents also were turned over by former Republican candidate Mark Harris.

Harris had a narrow lead after November’s election before details emerged that his political operative in rural Bladen County collected ballots from voters.

Leslie McCrae Dowless and four people Dowless allegedly hired to collect ballots were charged with state felonies, including possessing mail-in ballots. A state district attorney is investigating additional potential crimes in connection with activities leading up to the election.