At center of voter fraud scandal, a convicted felon and ‘grassroots’ campaigner

A man who worked as an “independent contractor” for Republican Mark Harris’ campaign in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District is a convicted felon who faced jail time for fraud and perjury, according to court records.

Over the last two decades, he has been paid by at least nine candidates, all for get-out-the-vote work, according to state records.

Leslie McCrae Dowless was convicted of felony fraud in 1992 in Iredell County, according to court records. Dowless and his wife were accused of taking out an insurance policy on a dead man and collecting nearly $165,000 from his death, according to a 1991 Fayetteville Observer article. He served more than six months of a two-year prison sentence, according to court records.

Dowless, now 62, was convicted of felony perjury in 1990, according to court records.

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