(Raleigh, NC)–Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina filed a complaint late Friday in Wake Superior Court, against a Wake County Board of Elections decision to dismiss 510 of the VIP-NC challenges of non-US citizens who were registered voters.
“We hope that the Board [of Elections] is as good as their leadership claims they are and that these 510 registered voters really were US citizens when they voted,” said Jay DeLancy, a voting-rights activist, “but in their haste to dismiss our challenges, they made sure we couldn’t examine their proof.”
The 510 registered voters that VIP-NC disputes were all dismissed because of email and spreadsheets shared between state and county election officials and the NC Division of Motor Vehicles, but none of the information was discussed, but never presented, at the public hearing.
“There apparently was a lot of interagency communication in their prep for our hearing and all of that information is public property that we want to see,” he said. “But this puts us in the uncomfortable position of naming some pretty high flying government officials in the complaint.”
The appeal document lists six Defendants: Gary O. Bartlett, Executive Director, NC Board of Elections; Veronica Degraffenreid, Elections Liaison, NC Board of Elections; Cherie Poucher, Director, Wake County Board of Elections; Aida Doss Havel, Chairman Wake County election Board; Eugene A. Conti, NC Secretary of Transportation; and Mike Robertson, NC Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
“The DMV used a process in order to vouch for the US citizenship of those 510 voters,” DeLancy said. “Since we were not allowed to ask any competent witnesses about the process at the preliminary hearing, we are hoping to shine light on it with this appeal.”
According to DeLancy, Ms. Degraffenreid described a DMV practice of issuing drivers’ licenses under a Legal Presence or “LP” designation and that they “assumed” any license holder without the LP was a US citizen.
“When I asked her how the DMV accounted for drivers who were issued licenses before the LP law took effect, she didn’t know,” DeLancy said, “and since the [Wake Election] Board did not invite a DMV rep to the hearing, we had no way of verifying anything.”
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.
“At the end of this legal process, we want the citizens of North Carolina either to see how efficient and effective our election laws really are or to see where our elected officials need to start fixing the process,” DeLancy said. “We hope for the former, but hope never was much of a plan.”