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Raleigh man accused of double voting says system is flawed

Posted August 17, 2011

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— An 89-year-old Raleigh man accused of voter fraud said he was trying to prove a point by casting two ballots. 

"I think the election system is pathetic," Leland Duane Lewis said Wednesday. 

Lewis, a retired engineer and World War II veteran, said he has been a faithful voter since 1949.

On Oct. 29, 2010, Lewis said he voted early at the Optimist Center in Raleigh. 

"I voted on the front of the ballot – just the front," he said. 

Lewis said he wondered how easy it would be to get a second ballot, so he went to his regular polling place, St. Raphael's Catholic Church, on Election Day. He said he gave his name and address to precinct officials and was given a ballot. 

"So, I voted the back of the ballot," he said. "They should've had information that said, 'Hey Mister, you voted.'" 

Lewis said he told volunteers at the polling place what happened on Election Day, but he wasn't charged with a crime until Wednesday. 

"I wasn't hiding it. I was reporting it, so we could discuss this," he said. 

Lewis said he did it to prove that the voting process if flawed. 

"I'm not going to double vote. I don't believe in that," he said. 

Lewis, of 5416 Alpine Drive, was released from the Wake County jail on Wednesday after posting a $10,000 bond. He could face up to 15 months in prison if convicted. 

"I want to see them straighten out the election system," he said. 

Leland Lewis Raleigh man accused of voting twice

Wake County Board of Elections Deputy Director Gary Sims said he could not talk about Lewis' case because he might be called to testify.

Sims said Election Day polling places get lists of those who voted early or absentee and precinct workers have to manually check to make sure people do not vote twice.

It's not clear what happened in Lewis' case.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ncwolf08 Aug 19, 2011

    Let's face it...there are people in Oakwood Cemetary that are still voting years after their deaths. The system is flawed. You don't even have to show ID. I went to vote once and was told I already voted...I was at work...I could not have voted. Needless to say, I did not vote that year, but someone voted in my place. Mr. Lewis was just trying to make a point...that is all. Heck, he is old enough to claim dementia. Come on, folks. Do you know how much money it will cost to keep this man in prison or jail??? I bet he has medical problems and let's face it, people that old need care. Let the cops arrest someone that really needs being arrested. If he told the precinct workers what he was doing and they still let him vote, they are as guilty as he is.

  • NCAries Aug 18, 2011

    We send people all over the world to help ensure fair elections. Former Pres. Carter amongst them who, BTW, supports Voter ID.

    Why can we not ensure fair elections at home? In the USA?
    North Carolina Home

    Because we've always loved to dictate to others what they should do without example from us.

  • tge358 Aug 18, 2011

    His point was to make state officials see how one can win an election illegally. He proved a point that cheating is rampant in NC. Now, why did the Governor veto the bill that came up in the last session to reguire real proof? Go figure.

  • DredScott Aug 18, 2011

    He intentionally voted one side of the ballot during early voting and intentionally voted the other side of the ballot on election day.

    He intentionally voted two ballots though he didn't vote twice for any office.

    He still committed a felony by state law.

  • SonODuncan Aug 18, 2011

    JD21, I became a US citizen just before the 2008 election. I went to register at a one-stop station. All I was asked for was a driver's license which, of course, proves that you are in the country legally, not that you are a citizen. I was able to register to vote without proving that I was entitled to vote.

    We have much bigger problems than this case, but I have never heard a legislator recognize this.

  • eoglane Aug 17, 2011

    he proved you can win by cheating. I mean lying and stealing

  • OSX Aug 17, 2011

    Voting system is flawed but he is flawed too. We live in a time that everyone seems to find a weak point and learn how to abuse it.

  • OSX Aug 17, 2011

    Yea, right... We show a government ID to vote and all this goes away.

  • jon2four Aug 17, 2011

    Come on people, We all know the system isn't perfect, but isn't justice supposed to be blind and the law applied equally no matter who, what when or where. We all know that if this guy was a young Immigrant or someone of another race or liberal ,every one of you would be screaming LOCK HIM UP, now look at you bending over backward making excuses. Some even saying he has courage, what a bunch of hypocrites, if the law can't be apply to all in the same way, what good is it ?

  • jd21 Aug 17, 2011

    This man did us ALL a huge favor! His act indeed PROVED what many of us feared all along about the ease of voter fraud being able to be accomplished & some of the precise flaws. "EARLY VOTING" NEEDS TO BE ABOLISHED IN NC!! At least until there are positive methods of knowing in EVERY voting location whether one has voted or not. Its not like such technology doesn't exist. Secondly, VOTER ID MUST BE MANDATORY! The excuses are ridiculous! Do these people never participate in real life, but just vote. You need an ID to get public assistance, medical care, cash checks, be at a bar, any number of routine human daily activities in NC. Everyone is SUPPOSE to be able to produce ID to law enforcement if needed. The hardship excuse is smoke & mirrors to allow fraud if it benefits the party in question. If someone needs ID that bad, give them a photo ID; we waste more money in worse ways. If he is punished, it continues to be a sad day in the US & NC.