RALEIGH (WTVD) --The state Board of Elections revealed Wednesday that more than 35,000 people may have double voted by casting ballots in North Carolina and another state during the 2012 election.
The Board of Elections was careful to say they don't have proof of fraud, but they have good reason to look closer.
"They verified there was voter fraud," said Susan Myrick, with the conservative think tank NC Civitas.
Myrick has been warning about voter fraud for years, and she said the numbers just out show it's happening, and it's happening a lot.
"They identified tens of thousands of voters that potentially voted in North Carolina and another state," said Myrick.
Initial findings from the Board presented to the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee Wednesday showed:
- 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, date of birth, and last four digits of the social security number were registered in N.C. and another state, and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
- 35,750 voters with the same first and last name and date of birth were registered in N.C. and another state, and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
Those findings only include data from the 28 states which participated in the 2014 Interstate Crosscheck.
Additionally, during an audit of death records from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Board discovered 81 deceased voters that had voter activity after they died.
The executive director of the state Board of Elections says there could be plausible explanations for much of the problem including human error at the polling stations.
"We do have exact matches, and that concerns us," said Kim Strach, with the Board of Elections, "but we still need to investigate to insure that it's not error or precinct error, because that does happen."
However, as the Board of Elections investigates, the political fallout is already being felt.
House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger issued a joint statement Wednesday crowing about Republican-driven changes to state voting laws.
"While we are alarmed to hear evidence of widespread voter error and fraud, we are encouraged to see the common-sense law passed to ensure voters are who they say they are is working," said Tillis and Berger. "These findings should put to rest ill-informed claims that problems don't exist and help restore the integrity of our elections process. We appreciate the state Board of Elections bringing this critical information to light."
For everything the new law does, including a number of restrictions on voting access, it's not clear that it would stop this interstate fraud. It's a point critics of the law were quick to make, and even some supporters acknowledged.
"The Voter ID bill may not have prevented that," said Myrick.
"I'm just saying let's not use those numbers to suggest that the larger 589 Voter ID Bill was justified and all the things that came with it," said Bob Phillips, with Common Cause.
As for potential fraud, it could be even more than the nearly 36,000 cases because only 28 states share voting information, and many of the bigger ones do not.