by WorldTribune Staff, September 26, 2018
Federal officials last month indicted 19 people in North Carolina on charges of voting illegally as non-citizens. All but one of them registered to vote at DMVs in the state, a report said.
Logan Churchwell at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, which reports on non-citizens on voting rolls, told The Washington Times that the fact that 18 of the registrants were listed as having signed up at motor vehicle bureaus pointed to a clear flaw in the Clinton-era National Voter Registration Act, more commonly known as the Motor Voter law, because it requires states to push voter registration on people who show up to conduct business at DMVs.
One of the 19 indicted, Elvis David Fullerton, has voted in 16 elections in North Carolina dating back nearly two decades, Stephen Dinan noted in his report for the Washington Times.
Fullerton is still a citizen of Grenada “yet even now his name remains on the state’s rolls in Wake County, and local officials say there’s not much they can do about it,” Dinan wrote.
“Incidents like this demonstrate why we need to put Motor Voter back on the table for reform – all of it,” Churchwell said. “Maintenance stagnation breeds voter roll bloat and can only harm confidence in the system as a result.”
Gary Sims, elections board director in Wake, where five of the 19 indicted individuals were registered, said he needs a notification from an “official or formal source” to remove voters from county rolls. An indictment or sworn affidavit isn’t even enough for him to begin an investigation, Sims said.
Of the 18 who were indicted and had registered at DMVs, 13 were registered as Democrats, four as Republicans and one unaffiliated.
Patrick Gannon, spokesman for the state elections board, said the indictments presented “somewhat of a unique situation” to officials.
“We do not have a regular voter list maintenance process to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls, at least partly because there is no comprehensive citizenship database to rely upon,” he said.
Dinan noted in the report that “Gannon agreed with Sims that a sworn affidavit from a federal agent wasn’t enough to kick someone off the rolls – though he did say officials can approach the person and ask him or her to withdraw from the voter list voluntarily.”
North Carolina will have signs posted at every polling place this year alerting people that if they are voting, they are asserting that they are eligible citizens.