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Person at center of N.C. ballot issue declines interview request in probe

North Carolina county's election scandal

The man at the center of a North Carolina absentee ballot probe declined a formal request to be interviewed by elections board investigators, according to correspondence released on Wednesday. 

The State Board of Elections released a letter to an attorney for Leslie McCrae Dowless. The board's letter, which is dated December 16th, requests an interview with Dowless, but notes that the board isn't invoking its power to compel testimony.

The election turnout work that Dowless did for a Republican candidate, Mark Harris, is central to the investigation in the Ninth Congressional District in North Carolina. The investigation could ultimately force a new election in the contest, which Harris won by 905 votes against Democrat Dan McCready.

The board has refused to certify Republican Harris as the winner of the Nov. 6 election, and is investigating possible fraud involving absentee ballots from two counties. If fraud is uncovered, the board could order a new election

The letter also informs the attorney that her client's alleged actions during the 2018 election and before are "under criminal investigation" by the board's investigators. They are looking into irregularities with the Nov. 6 vote in the 9th District.

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