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Summer trial set for N. Carolina ballot probe defendant

A North Carolina judge has set a trial date next summer for a political operative accused of ballot fraud involving a 2018 congressional election whose results ultimately got thrown out. Leslie McCrae Dowless appeared in Wake County court with his lawyer on Monday to address 13 criminal counts filed against him related to activities from the 2016 and 2018 elections. Dowless declined to accept a plea agreement offered by District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. A judge set the trial for next August. He's already scheduled to begin serving a six-month federal prison term in a few weeks after he pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud.