Why are so many NC voters missing?
AUG 18, 2014–RALEIGH, NC—The Voter Integrity Project announced today that North Carolina’s statewide election rolls now contain 739,041 voter registrations from people the election officials can no longer find.
“These missing voters are mostly people who moved away without telling the election office,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of VIP, “but the alarming recent growth in this voter category points to a more systemic problem.”
There were 460,065 such voters at the beginning of 2007, but that number has exploded to 739,041 (a 62.3 percent growth) since then. The only negative growth since then was in 2012, when VIP discovered nearly 30,000 deceased persons registered to vote.
“In an artfully deceptive ploy, election officials named these missing voters ‘inactive,’” DeLancy said, “implying they just sat out an election or two, but these people are genuinely missing and the public has been kept in the dark.”
North Carolina law (§ 163-82.7) requires election officials to complete two mailings to the voter at their registration address without response before a process begins that will eventually remove the missing (or “inactive”) voter.
“The law assumes that postal employees never make mistakes, so if the first letter is lost, thrown away or otherwise not returned, the person returns to ‘Active’ status,” he said, “but even if the first verification letter is returned undeliverable, election officials still can’t remove the voter.”
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