The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Thursday, June 20, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Josh Lawson, spokesman for the board, said state officials are looking into hundreds of potentially fraudulent registration forms flagged since August.

“When you have a stack of these forms delivered at once with no return address or with very similar handwriting and signatures, the county is required to check into these forms,” Lawson said. “We would interview the person listed on the form and they would say th ey did not submit the form.”

Lawson also said residents have been calling the Board of Elections about people going door to door and saying residents need to re-register because the state’s voter database went down.

“We don’t send out people to go door-to-door,” he said. “You do not need to re-register unless you have moved to a different county.”

Nearly nine out of 10 North Carolina residents eligible to vote are registered to do so, according to the state Board of Elections. North Carolina has more than 6.5 million registered voters — up almost 1.5 million people from a decade ago.

While voter registration manipulation is illegal, Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy N.C., said it is not the same as voter fraud — which is often cited by proponents of the state voting law as the reason for its existence.

“There are 18-year-old kids who write down Mickey Mouse on registrations, but that doesn’t mean Mickey gets to vote,” he said.

People concerned about registration status can visit the Board of Elections’ website to ensure they are properly registered ahead of the Oct. 10 deadline.

Ele ction Day is Nov. 4 — and the state chapter of the NAACP, the state League of Women Voters and the N.C. American Civil Liberties Union hope the state’s new voting law won’t be a factor.

In August, a federal judge allowed the law to govern the fall elections, and the groups are appealing that decision. Critics of the law maintain that its provisions should be put on hold until the U.S. Department of Justice’s case against the law goes to trial in July 2015.

They claim provisions in the law — including a fewer number of days for early voting as well as the end of same-day registration — would disproportionately impact African American voters and disenfranchise thousands of North Carolinians.

“If this law is found unconstitutional following next year’s trial, voters who were blocked from participating in the midterm election will never get that chance back,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, in a statement.

Hall said the law has already prevented 454 people from having their vote counted in the primary earlier this year that would have counted in 2012.

state@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.