Prosecutors Ignore Illegal Voter Registration in NC

(ORRUM,NC) – A Robeson County man is outraged because a group home registered his mentally challenged sister to vote without his knowledge. The State Board of Elections Counsel, Don Wright, says that is a felony by state law but he says prosecutors don’t pursue such cases.

Tim Farabaugh is a retired pipefitter and a Civil War re-enactor living in Orrum, North Carolina with his sister Ruth Maria Farabaugh, 54. He is her legal guardian. The sister has Down Syndrome and Mr. Farabaugh says she has no capacity to make decisions on her own. He demonstrated that while the sister worked in a coloring book in their kitchen:

Maria Farabaugh was registered as a Democrat in 2006 but her brother didn’t find out about it until 2011. Mr. Farabaugh describes himself as a conservative Democrat. There is still a McCain-Palin sign in their front yard.

Mr. Farabaugh removed his sister from the McDuffie Group Home in Fayetteville and then tried to convince an official at the Cumberland County Board of Elections to remove his sister’s name from the voter rolls. He says the official balked:

He was finally able to remove Maria’s name from the rolls. Farabaugh contacted his legislative representative Rep. G.L. Pridgen (R-Roberson)  and Pridgen is helping him with the case. The brother worries there could other similar cases. In fact such an allegation was made in 2011 in the Washington County Sheriff’s race. David Hassell lost to incumbent Sheriff James Ross. Based on testimony from  staff at a group home, the Roanoke Development Center, Hassell claimed residents were given unsolicited help to vote. The center was run by the County Democratic Party Chairman.

“Only a voter’s near relative or legal guardian can aid the voter in a care home as to registering and voting,” says Wright. Still Wright says the board receives four to five complaints every year from families saying their relatives are being assisted with voting without the family’s consent.

“I am unaware of any district attorney that has chosen to prosecute such violations,” Wright says. “Many care homes are not aware of this statute.”

In fact, even the state Ombudsman, who is supposed to advocate for patients, wasn’t aware of the law. Sharon Wilder said by email there was no need for a “near relative” to give permission for voter registration.

The fear for some is the group homes could be turned into voting blocs for some candidates, as was alleged in Washington County.

Dwight Neal of Franklin County is a Republican poll observer and says he saw evidence of that at the polls in 2008:

Mr. Farabaugh says he is writing a letter of complaint to Wright and Wright says he in turn will compose a letter of warning to the group home.

Update: Rep. G.L. Pridgen (R-Roberson) forwarded a letter of complaint from Farabaugh to the State Board of Elections counsel Don Wright. Below is the text:

Dear Mr. Wright,

As my assistant discussed with you, I am forwarding a letter shown below which I received today from Mr. Timothy Farabaugh regarding his sister and voter registration.  The letter articulates the situation.

This is something dear to my heart as I am the guardian of a family member in a similar situation who resides in a group home.  I am very familiar with the process as legal guardian and know that by law the guardian should receive notice and give permission in such incidences, i.e., registering to vote.  As a guardian, I receive documents annually from the group home which require my permissions, one item in that annual process is voter registration.

As you can imagine, Mr. Farabaugh is very upset over this situation and the trouble he had getting his sister’s name off of the voting list.  Thank you for your assistance on this matter as I am certain the State Board of Elections is interested in investigating this.  Please keep me up-to-date on your findings and actions.  My office phone number is 919.733.5821 where you can contact me or my Legislative Assistant, Bev Slagle.


Representative G. L. Pridgen
District 46, NC House of Representatives
Room 2223, 16 W. Jones St.
House of Representatives
Raleigh, NC 27601

Wright says the matter will be investigated.

This article was posted in Elections & Voting by Matt Willoughby on May 15, 2012 at 4:53 PM.

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Comments on this article

  • 1

    Sarah Pursley
    Sarah Pursley May 16, 2012 at 8:56

    Flagrant violation of the law. Mr. Farabaugh is right to protest her voter registration and request she be taken off the rolls. A group home is not the decision-maker in people’s lives. It should be up to the individual if capable or their family/guardians. I, too, am concerned about other fraudulent registrations.

  • 2

    Pope’s on Dope
    Pope's on Dope May 17, 2012 at 11:38

    Did she vote? If not, what’s the issue???

  • 3

    D Pitts
    D Pitts May 22, 2012 at 9:43

    …this is just a drop in the bucket for “rigged elections”…and “voter fraud” running rampant…and we think our vote “counts”…can you say “acorn”??

  • 4

    mj burgess
    mj burgess May 23, 2012 at 17:29

    Voter fraud is really bad and promoted by both political parties. It will gert worse until the people demand photo id and that politicians clean up the corruption! WE HAVE TO GET INVOLVED!!!! WE have to stop voting the same guys into office and hold all of them accountable! Are you too busy seriously to do your part in trying to make this a more honest nation for your children??? What can you do? Speak out to your neighbors, attend meetings with other fed-up citizens, demand that voter ID rosters be purged once a month to eliminate the deceased…and so much more! Do you care enough to do your part???? or are you just going to hand over our freedom and Constitutional government to dishonest politicians who don’t care about you at all. Truly…get to know them after they win; watch what they support…how they vote, etc. Hold them accountable!

  • 5

    tim farabaugh
    tim farabaugh May 24, 2012 at 8:31

    I like to thank everyone for your comments!!! I’m not backing down on this one,to close to home!!

  • 6

    Larry Wright
    Larry Wright May 25, 2012 at 4:01

    Hey, this is impossible. My Democrat State Representative, Phil Haire (D-119), ASSURED me there was no voter fraud so there was need for a Photo Voter ID. Are you saying my Democrat State Representative, Phil Haire (D-119) was wrong? Or (horrors) lied?

    Of course there is fraud. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s: Democrats cheat.

    Oh they tout a good line line about ‘Democracy’ and all that but they don’t like Democracy. Democracy is majority rule. The majority ruled in the new NC Marriage amendment. Democrats are crying foul. Democracy ruled in Wisconsin when they elected a Republican Governor. Democrats cried foul. The list is endless.

    It seems they only like Democracy when then they’re making the rules and to do that they have to stuff the ballot box at every opportunity.

    It’s high time t rein in voting procedures and make then as accountable and as accurate as state lotteries. By God, if a state can run a lottery it ought to be able to run an honest voting process.

  • 7

    tim farabaugh
    tim farabaugh May 27, 2012 at 0:51

    How do we know if the state lotteries are honest and accountable??

  • 8

    tim farabaugh
    tim farabaugh May 27, 2012 at 1:44

    Would it not be the same to just use one’s state driving license or state ID card from the DMV since most pepole has one already!!in place of a Photo Voter ID??

  • 9

    curtis Jun 23, 2012 at 4:04


  • 10

    Denise Sep 30, 2012 at 16:22

    Hello Tim. I just found this now unfortunately and would like my opinion known. While I can understand your concern we have to be careful here that we are not stepping on the rights of individuals. There are those like my daughter…also with DS…that does understand the basics of politics because ahe waa raised with tons of discussions at home. If yiu ask her who she wants…she will tell you and why. Now does she know every single minute detail? Absolutely not but then again how many “normal” people vote regarding one or two issues? So rather than pushing to take away all DS rights…perhaps it shiuld be left up to family to decide if they are prepared. We have worked too long and hard to increase awareness in their abilities to go backwards. I do however agree wholeheartedly that the group home should have asked you in the first place. Perhap it was a learning leason or? Either way …even if registered….they should vote only with guardian approval.

  • 11

    Deborah Meek
    Deborah Meek Oct 31, 2012 at 13:45

    We are in a similar situation. My adult down’s sister has a CAPS worker that picks her up from our home 3 days a week to work with her. We found out yesterday that worker took her on the 24th & registered her as a voter & she voted. All this was done without consulting the family. We are quite simply outraged! We are not trying to infringe on the rights of DS as a whole only to say that it should be left up to the family/legal guardian. This is clear exploitation of the innocent & morally wrong!

  • 12

    cecil pearson
    cecil pearson Dec 07, 2012 at 12:48

    please have Mr. Farabaugh contact me. I had a similiar instance as he (only my daughter actually voted, without my knowlege or consent). Trying to get something going to get the laws changed for court declared incompetents abality to vote.

  • 13

    cecil pearson
    cecil pearson Dec 07, 2012 at 12:51

    anyone interested in helping me to get voting laws amended for the court declared incompetent in N.C. please contact me at

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