• Seven people charged in District 9 ballot fraud investigation face judge


    WAKE COUNTY, N.C. - Seven people charged in the District 9 ballot fraud investigation faced a judge Monday. 

    McCrae Dowless is facing charges of felony obstruction of justice, perjury, solicitation to commit perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice and possession of absentee ballot.

    [SPECIAL SECTION: District 9 investigation]

    Dowless has retained Raleigh attorney Tom Manning to defend him on the new charges.

    Manning said he was just retained Monday morning and had begun reading news coverage about the alleged election fraud, major news Channel 9 broke and has followed every step of the way.

    The Wake County district attorney also announced charges for Lisa Britt, Ginger S. Eason, Woody D. Hester, James Singletary, Jessica Dowless and Kelly Hendrix last week. 

    Those six defendants requested and received court appointed attorneys. 

    They turned themselves in last Wednesday after being accused of picking up absentee ballots during last year's general election. 

    According to testimony and other findings detailed at an election board hearing earlier this year, Dowless conducted an illegal "ballot harvesting" operation. He and his assistants are accused of gathering up absentee ballots from voters by offering to put them in the mail.

    The charges are related to the District 9 election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.

    [PAST COVERAGE: Man at center of District 9 illegal ballot harvesting operation released on bond]

    Harris' campaign was at the center of it. He chose not to run again after the state ordered a new election.

    Republican Dan Bishop and McCready are now campaigning for the seat. 

    The election is set for September. 

    New court dates for Dowless and the other six defendants haven’t been set yet.

    The Wake County district attorney said the case is still open.

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