A Woman who is an absentee ballot witness said on Monday that a Bladen County, N.C., electioneer paid her to collect absentee ballots from last month’s midterm elections.
Ginger Eason a local news station in Charlotte, that Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr. paid her between $75 and $100 to pick up completed absentee ballots for North Carolina’s 9th District. The results of this election are being officially investigated.
“I was helping McCrae pick up ballots,” Eason said to the news outlet. McCrae is the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor who appears to be at the center of the investigation.
Eason noted that she didn’t see who people were voting for, but that she never mailed the ballots. She simply gave them to Dowless, and said that he did not mention to her that what she was doing was illegal.
Dowless is known locally as McCrae and has been named twice in sworn affidavits as someone who worked for Republican candidate Mark Harris’s campaign against Democrat Dan McCready.
When asked by local news outlet WSOCTV about paying people to pick up ballots, Dowless said that he had no comment.
The news station reported that it consistently found the same people signing as witnesses for the people voting. This has been noted as unusual. Eason was listed as signing as a witness for 28 submitted and accepted absentee ballot envelopes.
McCready conceded to Harris and said he would not request a recount after being down approximately 700 votes in November.
The elections board elected not to certify the results, citing “claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities related to absentee by-mail voting.”
Bladen County has received the spotlight because of voter affidavits submitted to the board that allege scenarios where people came to their homes and asked to hand in their absentee ballots.
Officials have also been probing uncommonly high numbers of absentee ballots submitted in Bladen County.
North Carolina’s state elections board chairman, Andy Penry, resigned on Saturday, saying that he won’t allow himself to be used as an “instrument of distraction.”