WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — McCrae Dowless, the political operative accused of collecting absentee ballots in the 9th Congressional District election last fall, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and illegal possession of absentee ballots.

Dowless was charged with three counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of an absentee ballot. 

Others charged include Caitlyn Croom, Matthew Monroe Mathis, Tonia Gordon and Rebecca Thompson. They face one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of possession of an absentee ballot. Mathis was also charged with falsely signing the voter certification on an absentee ballot. 

The charges stem from the 2016 election cycle and the 2018 primary. Allegations of illegal activity during last fall's election remain under investigation.


Multiple people were indicted following an investigation into alleged absentee ballot fraud in the 9th District election in North Carolina.

The State Board of Elections called for a new election after multiple days of testimony from poll workers, campaign workers and Mark Harris himself. A new election was also ordered for two local races in Bladen County. Harris announced this week that he will not run again for the seat and endorsed Stony Rushing, a Union County commissioner.

The State Board of Elections announced on Wednesday that they will meet on Monday, March 4th to set a new election date for the 9th District race. 

Dan McCready, Harris' opponent in the race, responded to the indictment on Twitter, calling it "an important first step" and that it sent a message that anyone who cheats or steals votes will "face the full force of justice."

McCready has already announced that he will be running in the special election. 

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