“AP Exclusive: NC election fraud probed long before 2018 race”

AP:

 Long before accusations of absentee ballot fraud in a small North Carolina county cast doubt on the results of a heated 2018 congressional race, a state elections investigator spent weeks probing whether the man at the center of the current scandal was among a group buying votes.

That 2010 investigation was one of at least a half dozen instances over the last nine years that prosecutors and elections officials received complaints of serious elections irregularities in Bladen County, a rural locale of 35,000 people that has long had a statewide reputation for political chicanery by both Republicans and Democrats. The state’s ongoing criminal investigation into 2018 voting irregularities has focused on Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., a local political operative and convicted felon.

Marshall Tutor, who retired in March after 15 years as an investigator for the N.C. Board of Elections, told The Associated Press his office first fielded accusations nearly a decade ago that Dowless, now 62, was among a group giving voters cash to fill out ballots the way he directed.

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