Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., a person highlighted in a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud case, has died from cancer.
His death was confirmed by a statement released by his daughter on Sunday.
Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. has died.
The political operative was set to go on trial this summer on more than a dozen state criminal counts related to absentee ballot activities for the 2016 general election and the 2018 primary and general elections.https://t.co/GuuEh0610G
— WUNC (@wunc) April 25, 2022
“His daughter, Andrea Dowless Heverly, wrote that her father “passed away peacefully” Sunday morning, according to a social media post. He had been diagnosed with an advanced form of lung cancer and died at his daughter’s home in Bladen County,” the Associated Press reported.
Dowless was scheduled to face trial this summer related to charges concerning an absentee ballot case regarding the 2016 election and 2018 primary and general elections along with other individuals.
The 2018 general election results were thrown out for the state’s 9th District and a new vote was required.
The bigger story
Dowless worked for 2018 candidate Republican Mark Harris. Harris did not run for reelection in 2021.
— BusyRebel (@wendydshaffer) April 25, 2022
Dowless had turned down a plea agreement in November and instead sought to defend himself in court against the charges related to obstruction of justice, perjury, and possessing absentee ballots.
He was one of seven people charged in the election fraud case. His case was subject to a $30,000 bond in 2019.
New charges filed!
McCrae Dowless just charged with 2 counts of obstruction, perjury, conspiracy to obstruct & possession of absentee ballots for his role in #NC09 absentee ballot forging case
— StandWithUkraine (@MaggieJordanACN) August 1, 2019
The case against Dowless will remain unresolved with his death, leaving behind a strange situation in the history of North Carolina’s past elections.