Witnesses say McCrae Dowless had possession of hundreds of absentee ballots

Witnesses say McCrae Dowless had possession of hundreds of absentee ballots
Kenneth Simmons said in an affidavit that McCrae Dowless had more than 800 ballots in his possession during a campaign meeting in Dublin. (Source: WECT)

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The figure at the center of the investigation into election fraud in Bladen County and Robeson County was seen holding a large number of absentee ballots during the campaign.

Kenneth Simmons and his wife said they saw McCrae Dowless — who is listed as a “person of interest” by the state board of elections — outside of a campaign event in the fall.

At that time, Simmons said Dowless was holding more than 800 ballots in his possession. Simmons and his wife were immediately concerned as to why Dowless had them and why they were not turned in to the board of elections.

Simmons says he came forward because he feels this could be a violation of voters' Constitutional rights. He signed an affidavit in front of a WECT reporter on Tuesday.

“I still don’t understand why they weren’t turned in," Simmons said. “I don’t know how the ballots work. I just know they should have been turned in. Why weren’t they turned in? I’m still in question of why they weren’t turned in.”

Dowless is accused of tampering with or destroying absentee ballots to benefit candidates he worked for in Bladen County, including Mark Harris for the 9th Congressional District.

“They way I look at it, I don’t care if you are Republican, unaffiliated or Democrat. I want it fair," Simmons said. "That is most important to me. I want it fair. It doesn’t matter who is up there as long as they do the job and it is fair.”

In North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone other than a direct family member to turn in an absentee ballot for someone.

Dowless has been connected to multiple candidates, including Harris, Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker and Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene.

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