The midterm elections saw record turnout and relatively few glitches, but a few things stood out to undermine the liberal claim that “there is no voter fraud in North Carolina.” Here are just a few examples of potential or actual fraud.
Famous Felon Votes
No voter fraud here? Tell that to former Charlotte Mayor and convicted felon Patrick Cannon. Arrested in March, Cannon pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced Oct. 14. Cannon was waiting to report to federal prison in West Virginia when he voted Oct. 30. In North Carolina, it is a felony for felons to cast a ballot. Cannon claimed he wasn’t thinking in that vein at the time he went to vote with his wife and was doing what he always had done.
A Charlotte Observer article mentioned the possibility of Cannon’s name not being removed from the Mecklenburg County voter rolls until January 2015. As odd as that sounds, Cannon is still on the county voter rolls. That raises another question: If your name doesn’t get scrubbed from the voter rolls after every media outlet in the state reports you have been convicted of a felony and are headed to prison, what could get your name removed?
Perhaps the most unreported voter fraud story of the season was the announcement by the State Board of Elections (SBOE) that there were 145 ineligible voters registered to vote in North Carolina. With less than two weeks until Election Day, we were told by the SBOE that DMV had discovered the illegal registrants through a routine search. The voters belonged to a group that fell under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It was initiated by President Obama in 2012 and allows illegal immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a work permit and exemption from deportation.
The SBOE downplayed the discovery but at the same time revealed it knew of more than 10,000 other possibly ineligible voters who are known as “legally present” in the DMV database. It emphasized that just because someone is “legally present” according to DMV doesn’t mean that all are ineligible to vote. The SBOE explained that though they may not have been citizens at the time they got their license, elections officials believed that most had become citizens since that time.
In early October, the SBOE cross-checked 1,600 of the “legally present” voters with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and found that 94 percent were now citizens. This finding is of little comfort: This partial review left the status of more than 9,000 more voters unchecked. Perhaps even more disturbing, it is likely that President Obama’s newest executive action will lead millions more noncitizens to believe they can register to vote and get away with that crime, too.
Speaking of old stories that never seem to go away, how about those 114-year-olds voting? Remember in 2010 when Civitas reported on thousands of 110-year-olds who were voting in the General Election? Well, they’re still voting – more than 1,000 voted in November – but they are now 114. In fact, there were as of 2012 tens of thousands of these old voters on our official voter rolls. But according to the Gerontology Research Center, there are only about 20 people 110 or older in the entire United States.
We understand that these NC “voters” are data errors, but we don’t understand why the SBOE would allow the problem to continue. If it can’t keep track of this basic fact, how can it keep track of other vital election data?
These are just a few examples of how our voting system is vulnerable to error, confusion and tampering. We have a long way to go before we can honestly and accurately say there is no voter fraud problem in North Carolina.