Local News

Clay Aiken withdraws Wake voter registration

Posted December 9, 2009 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2009 7:06 p.m. EST

— Raleigh native and former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken has withdrawn his voter registration in Wake County, following a challenge to whether the singer is eligible to vote there.

Aiken sent a letter to the Wake County Board of Elections, which scheduled a meeting Wednesday to examine a complaint from Wake Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope.

Pope filed the complaint last month, after Aiken called candidates for the county school board "selfish idiots."  He has said the challenge isn't about Aiken's words but making sure people are lawfully registered.

Aiken was not in attendance at Wednesday's meeting, in which Pope testified that Aiken voted this fall in Raleigh after he bought a house in nearby Chatham County.

The Wake residence, where he was registered to vote, is owned by Aiken's mother, Faye Parker, Pope told the board, and although the Chatham home is owned by a trust, mortgage documents require it to be Aiken's principal residence.

In a blog entry posted Monday on his Web site, Aiken said he remained registered at the "permanent address that I've long used here in Wake County because I consider Raleigh home."

"While I believe my registration is perfectly valid, I've decided to change my registration from Wake County rather than get into a technical dispute," he wrote.

The elections board concluded that Aiken did vote improperly but that he has avoided any future problems by withdrawing his registration.

"Sometimes, people don't understand the law," board chair Sharon Everett said. "There was no intention of law-breaking. I think this should be over and done today."