Raleigh man accused of double voting says system is flawed
Posted August 17, 2011 12:36 p.m. EDT
Updated August 17, 2011 6:48 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.