A North Carolina elections report released Wednesday suggests that hundreds of people may have voted in two states, and dozens somehow cast ballots from the great beyond.
The report found 765 registered Tar Heel voters with the same first and last name, birth date and final four Social Security numbers appeared to have voted in North Carolina and another state in 2012, officials told the legislative Elections Oversight Committee, according to wral.com.
A “10-year death audit” also uncovered more than 13,000 deceased North Carolinians whose names had not been removed from voter rolls, including 81 who voted from the grave. Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach said 30 voters may have sent in absentee ballots before dying, but that 40 to 50 ballots were cast after their deaths.
“We’re in the process of looking at each of these to see,” Strach said. “That means either a poll or precinct worker made a mistake and marked the wrong person, or someone voted for them.”
North Carolina belongs to a consortium with 27 other states known as the “Interstate Crosscheck,” which check 101 million registered voters against one another’s rolls to uncover anomalies.
While Republicans have long supported requiring voters to show a photo ID at the ballot box, Democrats have cried racism. But the discovery of 35,570 matching names and birth dates should give everyone pause, especially since the key populated states of New York, California, Florida and Texas have refused to join the consortium.
Tim Moore, a Republican member of North Carolina’s Elections Oversight Committee, was quick to pounce on the obvious implication.
“This is proof positive that voter fraud is common,” he said, according to wral.com. “We have known anecdotally of different types of voter fraud.”
State Republican Sen. Bob Rucho added, “We have the ‘Walking Dead,’ and now we’ve got the ‘Voting Dead.’”
State Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, insisted a photo ID would not prevent anyone from voting in two states. And Common Cause’s Bob Phillips added that the findings in no way justified reducing early voting, eliminating same-day registration or stopping 16- and 17-year-olds from pre-registering.
A number of bills to curtail voter fraud are pending before the North Carolina House, and the elections board is seeking to upgrade its digital photos database and electronic signatures. As biometrics become more prevalent in America, the issue will boil down to which legislatures are prepared to pay for election integrity and which want to maintain the status quo.
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