WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: Voter rights group says match does not mean fraud

Voter rights group says match does not mean fraud

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A North Carolina voter rights advocacy group is warning against using states' voter lists to establish whether fraud is occurring at the ballot box.

Democracy North Carolina announced the names of four state legislators Monday whose first name, last name and date of birth match active registered voters in other states.

Executive Director Bob Hall said such duplication is common and is not by itself evidence that voter fraud is occurring. Hall released the names of the legislators to argue that a State Board of Elections report earlier this year that said 35,750 North Carolina voters had similar matches does not demonstrate rampant voter fraud, as some Republicans at the General Assembly alleged.

"I think they are innocent, but they can be drawn into the hysteria, drawn into the fray," he said at a news conference outside the state election board office in Raleigh.

Last month, State Board of Elections confirmed that 765 registered North Carolina voters whose first names, last names, birthdates and last four digits of their Social Security numbers appear to match information for voters in another state. The board is now investigating whether voter fraud did occur within those duplicates. A board spokesman didn't immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking an update to the investigation Monday afternoon.

According to Hall, the four state legislators who matched voters in other states are Rep. Duane Hall, D-Durham; Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg; Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg; and Sen. Ronald Rabin, R-Harnett.

Hall said he's concerned the report's numbers could lead legislators to pass a bill that could further tighter voter restrictions beyond what the General Assembly approved in 2013. "Let's not inflame it, it could boomerang back," he said.

The state culls voter registration records from a database that runs interstate cross-checks across 28 states.

Hall noted that middle names are not included in that database, and if included could potentially shrink the numbers of duplicates. Better training for poll workers could also cut down on registration errors, he said.

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