A voting watchdog group says that election data revealing nearly 500 instances of alleged voter fraud in North Carolina dispels claims that voter fraud the state is “insignificant.”
This week, the Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina released a North Carolina Board of Elections document showing that from 2008-2012 there have been 475 cases of alleged voter fraud in the state referred to district attorneys’ offices.
The type of fraud included in the tally includes double voting, impersonation, vote buying or selling, ineligible voting, voter registration issues and absentee voting issues.
“The State Board of Elections, to the greatest extent permitted by resources, investigates all allegations of voter fraud,” the board of elections document reads.
“Most allegations prove to be unfounded, lack criminal intent, or cannot be substantiated; however, in those cases where there is reasonable suspicion of voter fraud, the matter is turned over to the appropriate district attorney’s office,” the document added.
The Board of Elections notes that the majority of the incidents occurred in the 2008 general election and the Voter Integrity Project adds that the complete tally of fraud from the 2012 elections have not been reported in full yet.
According to the Voter Integrity Project, the numbers reveal that fraud is an issue in elections and one that should be prosecuted more often.
“It is undeniable that voter fraud is a problem in North Carolina and really across the country,” Jay DeLancy, executive director of Voter Integrity Project of NC, told The Daily Caller. “That is undeniable, No. 1. No. 2, their prosecutions are few and far between and we blame that on the elected district attorneys across the state who, for whatever reason, see no value in prosecuting these cases. And we want them to prosecute.”
Some of the data has actually been used to argue the exact opposite, with WNCN news in July using the 2012 numbers to assert that “Widespread voter fraud not an issue in NC,” because in 2012 there were 121 instances of alleged voter fraud turned over to the appropriate district attorney’s office out of nearly 6,947,317 ballots — or less than .00174 percent.
DeLancy notes, however, that in some races, particularly down-ballot, elections are decided by very small margins.
“Serious things happen when there is any fraud,” DeLancy said.
“Every vote should count, that’s the bottom line,” he added.
Last month, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a far-reaching election reform bill, aimed at preventing voter fraud, into law.
The legislation, which includes a requirement that voters present a valid photo ID, shortens the early voting period and eliminates same-day registration, has been panned by critics who say the new law amounts to voter suppression and that voter fraud is not a problem. Civil rights groups have already filed lawsuits challenging the law.