Glen Englram was stunned. After winding down his private sector career, almost four years ago, he and his wife, Ruth, bought their Western North Carolina retirement home and began the next phase of their lives. But they briefly thought they were back in Chicago when they learned that three unknown persons were registered to vote from their address, more than three years after the couple had signed their mortgage and moved into their new home.
Glen and Ruth learned of the three “phantom voters” at their address after the Voter Integrity Project – NC demonstrated their newest search tool, called the Phantom Voter Project. and located at, www.PhantomVotes.org.
“We developed the site to empower citizens by helping them identify long-lost voters who are still registered from addresses at which they no longer live,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of the Voter Integrity Project.. “Once a phantom voter is found, the site will even auto-generate the paperwork that the Election Board needs for their removal.”
In early July, VIP-NC reported finding 739,041 registered North Carolina voters whom the state can no longer find.
“The Phantom Voter Project not only helps people find such former occupants, years after they move away,” said DeLancy, “but it also helps current occupants detect any voters who were fictionally registered,and never removed.”
In years past, activists from a Ralph Nader group, called NC-NIRG, and from the criminal enterprise formerly known as ACORN were convicted for making false voter registrations. VIP-NC has spent thousands of research hours trying to create a detection method.
“This web-based tool will finally solve the problem of fictitious voters, fake children and even cats or dogs registered to vote,” said DeLancy, “but it will all depend on people using the site to check their own address along with the addresses of their family, friends and neighbors. Any hope for open and honest elections starts with accurate voter rolls.”
The new site was publicly released September 23, 2014 at midnight, but the group had been circulating a “beta” version of the site for a few weeks in order to solicit feedback.
“After we discovered the 739,041 missing—but still registered–voters in NC, we knew the voter rolls had been corrupted, and that conditions are ripe for wholesale voter identity theft,” DeLancy said. “Just like dead voters, people who moved away and have no idea they’re still registered at their old address can easily be exploited; and since our state’s voter ID law not starting until 2016, the risk this November is high.”