Watchdog storms out of election meeting

August 21, 2012 9:20:18 AM PDT
The leader of a conservative-leaning watchdog group stormed out of a Wake County Board of Elections hearing Tuesday morning after his challenges of some names on the county voter roll were dismissed.

"It's a sad day when it takes, when our election laws are so complex, that it takes an election law attorney in order for one citizen to walk in and challenge the right of another citizen to vote," offered Jay DeLancy with the Voter Integrity Project - which describes itself as non-partisan.

The Voter Integrity Project has challenged hundreds of voters who it says are either dead or not U.S. citizens - but still registered to vote.

"I fear for our election," said DeLancy.

Tuesday morning, DeLancy tried to convince board of elections members that 18 voters were proven to be ineligible to vote. In one example, DeLancy said a man "registered to vote, checked the block stated he was a citizen, and then later on, he got out of jury duty by claiming he was not a citizen and that board didn't care."

But with no additional evidence provided - the board of elections dismissed the challenges one by one.

"We were able to get the documentation that they were naturalized after their jury summons and before they were registered to vote," explained Cherie Poucher with the Wake County Board of Elections.

Poucher said the board follows all laws when it comes to registration.

"In North Carolina, we cannot ask for any proof of citizenship," she explained. "The burden of proof is on that challenger."

But Poucher said she values the challenges.

"Someone coming with a list of names and saying double check these, is very helpful because we want a very clean voter list," she said.

DeLancy plans to return next week for a bigger hearing. He said his group found almost 400 dead people who are still on the voter roll. Those claims are under review.

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