Last year, the General Assembly passed a comprehensive law to require a photo ID at the polls and reform North Carolina’s outdated election code. It is important to also point out that adding some form of voter ID is a measure supported by 65% of North Carolinians. We crafted these reforms to help provide transparency in our elections and ensure that every vote is counted equally. The fact is that every time a fraudulent vote is cast, it cancels out a legitimate vote and robs a law-abiding citizen of their constitutional right. This was an important and necessary action for North Carolina.
As part of the reforms, the General Assembly tasked the North Carolina State Board of Elections with improving the accuracy of voter registration lists and combating potential fraud by cross checking information on voting records with those of other states. Previously, instances of voter fraud were low due to the fact that states weren’t even bothering to check for obvious instances of voter fraud. Their initial findings confirmed our fears of voter error and fraud in North Carolina.
Based on data from 28 states that participated in a 2014 Interstate Crosscheck – which leaves out potential error and fraud in the 22 states that do not participate in the consortium – the Board found:
- 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
- 35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
- 155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.
Additionally, during an audit of death records from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Board discovered:
- 50,000 new death records that had not previously been provided to the State Board of Elections.
- 13,416 deceased voters on the voter rolls in October 2013.
- 81 deceased voters that had voter activity after they died.
While it is alarming to hear evidence of widespread voter error and fraud, I am encouraged to see the common-sense law passed to ensure voters are who they say they are is working. These findings should put to rest ill-informed claims that problems don’t exist and will help restore the integrity of our elections process. I appreciate the State Board of Elections bringing this critical information to light and I hope that voters will have more confidence on the process of our elections. As we move forward, the North Carolina State Senate will continue to work to restore transparency to our elections.