Second woman says she was paid to collect absentee ballots in North Carolina House race

A second woman has come forward claiming that a Bladen County, N.C., electioneer paid her to collect absentee ballots for last month’s midterm elections.

Cheryl Kinlaw told WSOCTV, a local news station in Charlotte, N.C., that Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. paid her $100 to collect ballots in their district, adding that Dowless “has been doing it for years.”

Kinlaw said that she never mailed the ballots she collected and that she instead handed them over to Dowless. She said she was unaware that what she was doing was illegal. 

{mosads}Her comments come a day after another woman, Ginger Eason, told the news station that Dowless, the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor, paid her between $75 and $100 to pick up ballots. 

Both of them have said they do not know what Dowless did with the ballots. 

Dowless has been named twice in sworn affidavits as someone who worked for Republican candidate Mark Harris‘s campaign as an independent contractor and has been at the center of an investigation into the results of the election in North Carolina’s 9th District. 

When asked by WSOCTV about paying people to pick up ballots on Monday, Dowless said he had no comment. 

In November, Democrat Dan McCready conceded to Harris in their House race when he was down by approximately 700 votes. 

But the elections board decided not to certify the results, citing “claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities related to absentee by-mail voting.” 

WSOCTV reported that it has discovered what appears to be a targeted effort to illegally pick up ballots in Bladen County.

The news station noted that it consistently found the same people signing as witnesses for the people voting, something it notes is unconventional. Eason was listed as signing as a witness for 28 submitted and accepted absentee ballot envelopes. 

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) who was recently elected Democratic caucus chairman, said Tuesday that it “appears increasingly likely” that Republican operatives “stole a House seat” through election fraud. 

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has also warned that Harris won’t be sworn into the House if allegations of election fraud persist into 2019, when Democrats take a majority in the House. 

Tags Hakeem Jeffries Mark Harris Steny Hoyer

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