New indictments issued for Dowless, several others in NC09 investigation

Several people have been indicted in connection to the alleged ballot fraud that occurred in the NC09 House race last year. 

The Grand Jury of Wake County issued indictments on Tuesday against Leslie McCrae Dowless, a main player in the 2018 investigation. Dowless is also suspected of causing ballot irregularities in prior elections. 

Dowless' new charges include two counts of felony obstruction of justice, perjury, solicitation to commit perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice and possession of absentee ballot. He is under a $30,000 secured bond for these charges, as set in other related cases. 

"Today's indictments are a product of an extensive investigation by the State Board of Elections, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman's office and the State Bureau of Investigation," Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said in a statement. 

Others charged include Lisa M. Britt, Ginger S. Eason, Woody D. Hester, James Singletary, Tonya B. Long, Jessica Dowless, and Kelly Hendrix. They were placed under unsecured bonds of $10,000 and ordered not to have contact with anyone else named in the indictments. They're all expected to turn themselves in over the next few days.

"The absentee ballot fraud that occurred in the 9th Congressional District effectively disenfranchised voters in that district.

North Carolina voters should be confident that state officials will continue to be vigilant and pursue any individuals or organizations that attempt to undermine our elections. Democracy is best served by holding those who attempt to thwart it accountable," said Brinson.

This is the second set of indictments against Dowless, resulting from the findings of an investigation into questionable absentee ballot practices in Bladen County. He previously was charged with three counts of felonious obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of absentee ballot. .

Officials not that Hendrix's charges stem from the 2016 General Election was well as the 2018 General Election. 

The Wake County District Attorney and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations are continuing to work with the North Carolina State Board of Elections and federal authorities on the matter. 

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