Local Politics

Auditor: Dead People Voted in N.C. Elections

Posted June 19, 2007

— Despite questions from State Auditor Les Merritt, lawmakers on Tuesday sent a controversial voter registration bill to the House floor for a vote.

House Bill 91 would allow people to register and vote at the same place within three days of an election. Opponents, primarily Republicans, feel it would open up more voter fraud.

Merritt, a Republican, created an awkward situation Tuesday during a meeting of the Select Committee on Government and Election Reform when he released information criticizing the State Board of Elections' oversight of voter registration.

Auditors in Merritt's office looked at voter registration records and found what they believe are the names of hundreds of voters who were supposedly dead at the time they voted.

"We want to eliminate voter fraud," Merritt said. "I want to let you know I don't consider this a partisan issue."

"That's plain not true," elections board member Bob Rauf said of the allegation. "What we're doing is talking about things that are half fact and not necessarily true because the rules aren't understood."

Board members said people sometimes vote early or by absentee ballot and then die before the actual election. The auditors have misinterpreted the voting data, they said.

"We're comfortable with our numbers. We're very, very comfortable," board member Marc Burris said.

The bill was pulled from a House vote on Monday when Merritt first raised his concerns. He said his office would soon issue a final report on the matter.

"It's not my place to really kill the bill or stall it or anything else," he told lawmakers.

Committee members decided to move the proposal forward.

"I believe that this bill is very sound," said Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, one of the bill's sponsors.


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  • nobodyz bizness Jun 21, 2007

    sounds about right.....dead people voting for brain-dead people...hmmmm

  • lizard Jun 20, 2007

    I've always felt alot of people that vote are already brain dead! Guess what party they always vote for? Same one their parents vote for.

  • tmedlin Jun 20, 2007

    Without a doubt, polling workers should be required to check for an individual's ID before allowing them to vote, at a minimum, their voter registration card. Not rocket science, and not discrimination. I don't want dead people or illegal aliens voting in NC!

  • Pappy O Daniel Jun 20, 2007

    The comments section is full of partisan bickering (which does no good at all - when was the last time a bit of it actually changed your mind?), but very little critique of WRAL's reporting.
    Most of this artcile is dedicated to the issue of "voter fraud" but never points out that the numbers that they are talking about are hundreds or thousands of a single percent (no voting system is perfect, but the NC system works very well). Also, about 50% of the text is dedicated to the fraud issue and not Merritt's curious behavior of trying to kill a smae day voting bill with "secret info", then quickly withdrawing his efforts when the lights came on. That's were the story is.
    C'mon WRAL, try to connect the dots once in a while.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 20, 2007

    I am curious. Who have these dead people been voting for in the elections? I can't recall seeing any dead people at my voting place, but perhaps I am not sure how to tell if the person in the next little plastic booth is alive or not. My own view on this is I really wish that just the law required that the person looking up my name on the roles would ask to see my registration card and some Identification. I know that would still not prevent all fraud, but it would help control some of it.

  • hpr641 Jun 20, 2007

    2 additional points for consideration:
    1) People can already vote if they register just 30 days in advance of election day (apparently, 30, 20, 10, or even 5 days is just too great a burden)
    2) The State Board of Elections is supposedly "bi-partisan" However, there are 5 members: 3 Democrats (including the chairman) and 2 Republicans. Remember, "bi-partisan" doesn't mean equal numbers of dems. and reps., just that both parties are represented.

  • hpr641 Jun 20, 2007

    Interesting note, we have a Republican State Auditor (the first in a very long time) who's office has uncovered outright, felonious fraud and many other severe accounting irregularities, and now apparent voting by the dead. We also have a Democratically controlled state house, senate, and governor. My point: Nearly all state agencies are likely to get more funding in the 2008 state budget proposals. For all the important good work the State Auditor has done in his 29 months on the job, the senate's proposed budget is going to give him even more resources to root out additional improprieties, right? No, he's having his proposed funding CUT in the proposed senate budget bill. Apparently, he has stepped on too many of the wrong toes.

  • MadBiker Jun 20, 2007

    Dead people should only be allowed to vote via absentee ballot.

  • lilybell Jun 20, 2007

    WRAL, you are spinning madly. Merritt's whole performance was political maneuvering and a fishing expedition. The State Board of Election auditors said they found ZERO problems with dead people voting. Even Merritt has admitted that "there may be no problem with the state's voter rolls." So why, WRAL, are you spinning this?

    Charges of voter fraud are used by Republicans to disenfranchise those who most likely would not vote Republican. Plain and simple.

  • Mad Baumer Jun 20, 2007

    I see dead people, and they are voting...