(Raleigh, NC)—MAR 20, 2013—The NC State Board of Elections has confirmed their intent to prosecute five people on suspicion that they voted in both Florida and NC during the November 2012 election, according to email records provided by the Voter Integrity Project of NC, the group that investigated and identified the voters to both states’ election offices earlier last month.
Thanks to the relatively accessible election records in both Florida and North Carolina, this research was possible,” said Jay DeLancy, Executive Director of VIP-NC, “but we have every reason to believe this is only the tip of the iceberg.”
The group scoured the Florida election records to identify November 2012 voters who listed an alternate address in NC and then scrubbed that list against the NC voter history files. They found over 300 who appeared to be registered in both states and 33 who appeared to have voted in both state’s elections, which is a felony.
“We turned our list of 33 suspects over to both the Florida Secretary of State’s office and the NC Board of Elections office and asked them to investigate,” said Delancy. “Don Wright, the Chief Counsel for NC SBOE gave us the news that five of our suspects had matching signatures in both states and that his office would refer them over for prosecution.”
Under NC law, the State Board of Elections can prosecute election finance crimes but not election fraud laws and the Voter Integrity Project – NC has asked the State Legislature to change that condition.
“It is up [to] the respective District Attorneys if they intend to prosecute the cases,” wrote Mr. Wright in the email to the VIP-NC, dated March 5, 2013. The agency is yet to release the names or counties of the suspected felons.
DeLancy attributes lack of prosecution authority at State BOE as a key factor in the public claims by many groups that “no vote fraud happens in NC” and that “voter ID is a solution in search of a problem,” as many voter ID opponents have often repeated.
“Vote fraud deniers make nice poetry and they give good sound bites,” said DeLancy, “but the idea is as absurd as claiming that no speeding happens on I-40 unless the Highway Patrol writes tickets.”
The group also used their findings to press for NC to join a multi-state voter history database that was established by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
“The multi-state data base would bring transparency to cases of college students and snowbirds that live in two states and vote in both of them,” said DeLancy. “Except in open-information states like Florida and NC, this type crime has been very difficult if not impossible to detect.”
The group believes the data base would help bring “driver license type controls” to the public’s voter registrations.
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