Statewide Citizen Group Launches Voter Roll “Scrub”
(Raleigh, NC)–Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina officially kicked off their statewide campaign to remove deceased voters from the election rolls, yesterday in Alamance County and today in Halifax County, by challenging election officials to remove the names of registered voters, who had passed away between 2008 and 2011.
“We’ve all heard stories of how dead people vote in Chicago,” said Jay DeLancy, the VIP-NC Executive Director, “so volunteers from all across the state want our election officials to scrub our voter rolls to make sure that kind of corruption never gets to North Carolina.”
Other citizen groups have relied on obituaries to highlight the delicacy of NC election laws, but VIP-NC matched the voter rolls against the same official death records the NC Department of Health and Human Services supplies to the State Board of Elections to arrive at their conclusions.
“North Carolina election law mandates a monthly process for election officials to remove the dead people from the rolls,” DeLancy said, “but there is no penalty for election officials who just decide not to do the job.”
NC General Statute 163-82.14 (b) requires the state election officials to “distribute every month to each county board of elections the names on that list of deceased persons who were residents of that county,” and each county is required to remove “any person the list shows to be dead.”
“Our research suggests that this system is badly broken,” DeLancy said. “Over the next few weeks, we will be showing the citizens of North Carolina a very conservative estimate of how poorly this simple task is being managed by election officials from all across the state.”
On Monday, Alamance County resident, Mike Kelley, challenged his election board to remove 123 deceased voters from their rolls. Today’s challenge, by Scotland Neck native Richard Scott, notified Halifax County officials of 77 deceased voters who were still on the rolls.
“The silver lining to our sad findings is that, so-far, it looks like only a small hand-full of the deceased have actually had someone steal their identity and vote in their name,” DeLancy said, “but whenever that happens, it means someone has just committed a felony and it also means that other law-abiding citizens are getting their votes cancelled.”
VIP-NC is a non-partisan, volunteer organization that works for “free and fair elections” by training volunteers to research the voter rolls in order to remove fictitious or other illegally registered voters and to monitor elections at precincts across the state in order to ensure that no voters are disenfranchised.