Round Two: 250 Challenges Filed in Cumberland County

[Page updated Jan 22, 2016 with Fayetteville Observer video clip and editorial. See bottom of page.]

Jan 20, 2016 (FAYETTEVILLE, NC) — Retired Air Force Master Sgt, Michael Hyers, now a Research Analyst with the Voter Integrity Project, filed 250 official challenges to the Cumberland County Board of Elections, today at 9:30 AM, alleging the voters are registered from addresses at which they no longer reside.


Cumberland County BOE staff member begins stamping the 250 challenges filed by Mike Hyers, today at 9:30 AM.

“If we left the list maintenance process strictly up to the election officials,” he said, “it would take somewhere between four and eight years until these voters would ever begin to have their names removed from the rolls.”

Andrew Barksdale (photographing Mike Hyers) published a story today in the Fayetteville Observer about the challenges. (Click image to see story.)

One of the “ghost” voters he found also happened to be the daughter of a long-time Cumberland County friend. She registered to vote in 1991, but got married a year later and never voted in this county. Mr. Hyers said she is still on the voter rolls.

“County election employees kept her on the rolls for 24 years without her knowledge [and] at any time, somebody easily could have stolen an extra vote in her name,” he said. “Now they can’t.”

Mr. Hyers first began working on voter list maintenance in mid-2014, when he discovered many of his former neighbors were still registered at their old addresses and saw the work as a civic duty, extending from his time in the Air Force. He filed a total of 21 challenges, all of which were sustained.

“In 1974, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said, “and there was nothing in my retirement orders that relieved me of that oath.”

He first reached out to the Voter Integrity Project in August 2015, after he used the Phantom Voter Project site to uncover several of his former neighbors who were still registered to vote at their old addresses.

VIP Director of Research, John Pizzo, fired a loaded finger at Mike’s keyboard, during a data-mining session last Fall, in VIP’s Raleigh offices.

“In most cases, it was just people who moved away long ago and the county failed to remove them,” he said, “but one was more suspicious. The homeowner has lived there for more than 14 years, but eight years ago, three individuals, she had never known, mysteriously registered to vote from her address.”

As a Research Analyst with VIP, Mr. Hyers donates some of his time to help make sure the county’s voter rolls are as clean as possible.

“Mike was a quick study who already understood how vital election integrity is to our nation’s freedom,” said VIP Director, Jay DeLancy, “so he pulled up his sleeves and went to work challenging suspicious voter registrations of people who no longer lived at the address they were using for elections.”

This latest round of Cumberland County challenges totaled 250 voters whose records were already flagged by the County BOE as being problematic. All either had confirmation letters that were never returned (which can trigger a change in status) or they had confirmation letters that were returned, marked “undeliverable” by the postal service.

Score sheet

Above: The meta data on 250 voters challenged today in Cumberland County by VIP Research Analyst, Mike Hyers.

Easily handling the most stressful aspect of the challenge process, Mike Hyers (far right) pleads his own case before the Cumberland County BOE, several staff members and the County Attorney, with an audience to his rear, during his Fall 2014 round of 21 challenges, which were all sustained by the Board.

“Our election laws are broken and without citizen involvement, many voters stay on the voter rolls long after moving away” said DeLancy. “By Mike filing of these  challenges, the Board of Elections will examine each voter’s record and either update it or remove it, all in a matter of weeks and this will prevent any of those voters from having their identity stolen at the polls for another vote.”

While voter impersonation fraud is difficult to detect, VIP has received confirmation that one case, from the “FLANC project,” initially reported to election officials in 2014, turned into a family member admitting she stole her daughter’s identity in order to vote twice in the November 2012 election.

“We can’t yet name the individual because formal charges are still pending,” DeLancy said, “but we can confirm that a criminal referral was made against a Florida woman who confessed to committing voter impersonation fraud in NC. So now, we’re giving the Florida Secretary of State a chance to do his job.”

Hyers TV

Please click the above image to see a short video on why Mike Hyers is so passionate about honest elections.

(Jan 22, 2016 updated information.)

At first, the Fayetteville Observer’s Andrew Barksdale was highly skeptical of Mike Hyers’ work, but he eventually got it and gave VIP our first-ever MSM report that accurately reported our story without any snide remarks or quotes from no-nothing critics who are afraid of real citizen oversight.

In other words, after five years of labor in the fields of election integrity, a major news outlet (other than Fox News) finally figured us out! They even wrote a favorable editorial about our work and Mike’s patriotic service to the public!

Please click the image below for a look at a Fayetteville Observer editorial, that articulates a message we’ve been saying for five years. Finally. . . thanks to Mike and to the hundreds of supporters and volunteer researchers who have helped VIP since early 2011. . . on Jan 22, 2016, “big media” heard us! Editorial