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New Evidence Emerges in Non-Citizen Voting Case

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Damien Omar Sullivan’s mug shot. He was charged with “voter registration fraud,” after BOE records revealed that he had voted twice while a citizen of Jamaica.

May 25, 2016 (Raleigh) — The Voter Integrity Project, today, has found new evidence, unknown before the dismissal of the case against Moore County resident, Damien Omar Sullivan, a Jamaican citizen who admitted to illegally voting twice in NC. It could lead to the prosecution of certain DMV employees.

We learned from a record request to Glenda Clendenin, Moore County’s BOE Director, of two election-related documents, both signed “under penalty of perjury,” by Damien Omar Sullivan and both falsely attesting to his US Citizenship. One of them implicates the DMV.

The first time Sullivan appears to have lied about his citizenship was on his Aug 1, 2005 application to register. Question 1 of the form, asks, “are you a United States Citizen?” The “yes” block was checked and the form was signed by Sullivan.

Also on the form was a large, bold-letter notice: “Warning! If you sign this card and know the information provided to be false, you can be convicted of a Class i Felony.”

The second time Sullivan appears to have lied about his citizenship was when he changed his address while in the act of voting, on May 6, 2008.  The form, titled,  Provisional Ballot Registration/Update Form,” was signed by Sullivan, even though he again checked the “yes” block and falsely attested to his citizenship “under penalty of perjury.”

In Sullivan’s dismissed case, the Moore County DA charged him under NCGS § 163-275 (7), which declares it a felony, “For any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time, or to induce another to do so, in the same primary or election, or to vote illegally at any primary or election.”

Sullivan checked the “yes” answer to the question about his US Citizenship and signed the document. Note the bold-face warning in the upper left side of the document.)

The charges were dismissed after the (now retired) Judge Ken Crow, found no evidence of “intent,” which is important to this particular statute, since many people can accidentally remain registered in one county or state after moving to another.

So, intention is key to prosecution under subchapter (7) and according to the transcript, Judge Crow said, “I don’t believe the State has any evidence with regard to . . . Mr. Sullivan making a false representation or concealing any material fact, either past or existing, which would be a requirement to prove fraud.”  (The transcript can be read in its entirety by clicking here).

Bad News

Thanks to our constitutional protection from double jeopardy, a prosecutor cannot go back and retry any old case they lose, just by finding one more piece of evidence.

Giving us a glimmer of hope, an attorney we consulted (without specific knowledge of this matter) said that some cases CAN be brought if evidence suggests a different, but related, crime. The big factor that would prevent new charges involves how the case ended.

For example, a not-guilty verdict is very difficult to readdress, as is a “dismissal with prejudice.”

Good News

Sullivan’s case ended when the Judge accepted a pretrial motion to dismiss . . . with no mention of prejudice.

So, here are two statutes we believe Sullivan violated. Neither requires proof of intent.

First, NCGS § 163-275 (4), of the election law declares it a felony, “for any person knowingly to swear falsely with respect to any matter pertaining to any primary or election.”

Second, NCGS § 163-275 (18) declares it a felony, “For any person, knowing that a person is not a citizen of the United States, to instruct or coerce that person to register to vote or to vote.”

The new evidence could support prosecution of Sullivan under either (or both) of these statutes; but subchapter (18) could be used to prosecute employees from the DMV who undermined North Carolina’s election laws by registering persons they knew to be non-citizens.

Wouldn’t that be special?!

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See Related Stories:

How a Jamaican Citizen Got Away With Voting in NC

Why Did DMV Illegally Register Non-Citizen Voters?

 

 

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