Mar 28, 2016 (FAYETTEVILLE, NC) – After allowing time for the Cumberland County Board of Elections to certify the March primaries, Retired Air Force Master Sgt, Michael Hyers, a Research Analyst with the Voter Integrity Project, challenged 363 more Cumberland County voters this morning. who he says are no longer living at the address from which they are registered to vote.
One of the challenged voters, Jessica Lynne Hayes, first registered on Sept 6, 1991 and has never voted in Cumberland County, according to public records. Hyers, who is friends with her family, said she got married in 1992, moved to the Triad area and registered to vote under her married name. She’s been voting under that name ever since and has never voted in Cumberland County, yet she remained on the voter rolls for 25 years.
“I wonder how many more decades she would have remained on the rolls if I didn’t file this challenge,” he said, “but the bigger questions is how many others are in a similar situation, thanks to the bloated Inactive Voter rolls we have in Cumberland County.”
As of the March 26, 2016 voter roll update, Hyers said there are 18,321 Inactive voters with their confirmation mailing returned undeliverable and 29,023 who are coded as Inactive with confirmation mailings not returned. This means the county has 47,344 voters coded as “Inactive” (or missing) voters with whom the county board has lost contact.
Hyers initially challenged 21 voters in 2014, after he learned they were still registered in his neighborhood long after they had moved away. In January 2016, he challenged 250 more voters, 192 of which were sustained by the Board of Election.
“In order for us to live in a representative republic, it’s essential the candidates be elected by people who live in their own district and by nobody else,” Hyers said. “Today’s challenges will push the Board to resolve some cases of voters who clearly do not live in their stated precinct and help reduce the possibility of voter fraud.”
The Raleigh-based Voter Integrity Project initially helped Hyers discover the 21 former neighbors who were still registered to vote from their old addresses. He also learned that two of them had registered from an address six years after the current occupant bought and occupied the property.
“The homeowner lived in the house since 2002 and in 2008, those two phantom voters used her address in order to vote,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of VIP. “Most of the voters our group challenges are still on the rolls because of somebody’s negligence, but those two cases looked fraudulent, since the homeowner didn’t know who they were.”
The group has received requests for assistance from activists across the state who are interested in replicating Hyers’ work in their own county, and VIP is helping such county teams get started. Most notably, the Moore County team has successfully challenged 832 missing voters; 386 deceased voters in Wake County; 138 missing in Buncombe County; 132 missing in Henderson County; 123 deceased in Alamance; 84 deceased in Dare; and 62 deceased in Currituck County.
“That list keeps growing because of the great work of county VIP teams,” DeLancy said. “Eventually, by challenging and removing missing and deceased voters, our teams will begin to starve criminals of the fuel supply they need in order to steal elections.”
The Voter Integrity Project – NC has the mission to restore public trust in the democratic process through the analysis, detection and prevention of vote fraud. To date, their work has triggered 17 criminal referrals, three indictments and two felony convictions, but dozens of other cases are still pending prosecution.