Scrutiny over Dianna Lightfoot moves to voter registration questions
Dianna Lightfoot is facing more questions, after a Winston-Salem news outlet discovered she’d registered to vote using an address of a UPS store.
Lightfoot, 61, of Winston-Salem, resigned yesterday morning after being appointed two days earlier by new N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos to heading the state’s pre-K and child development division. Lightfoot’s resignation (more about that here) came after comments and positions she’d taken criticizing government-run early education programs and Tea Party-related causes surfaced. Those comments included a comment from her now-deactivated Twitter account in which she referred to women appointed in the Obama Administration as a “butch bunch.”
The news about the voter registration issues was first reported Thursday morning by the Camel City Dispatch, a relatively new independent, non-profit news website in Winston-Salem that found Lightfoot registered to vote in the spring of 2012 using the address of a UPS store at 353 Jonestown Road, a UPS store where Lightfoot has an address. State elections law requires that individuals use their residential, and not mailing address, when registering to vote.
Providing false or misleading information on a voter registration form can lead to a lower-level felony charge.
The news was later picked by the Winston-Salem Journal, which ran a story today that included an interview from Lightfoot’s mother who said Lightfoot had been devastated by the intense media attention this week.
DHHS has not chosen a successor to Lightfoot.
UPDATE (added since original publication): Robert Coffman, the director of elections in Forsyth County, said he will refer to matter to his three-member board, who can then ask for the state board of elections to look into the matter, or the local district attorney. Prosecution over voter registration address matters are rare, he added, and his office is waiting to see if the voter, Lightfoot, contacts them to change her voter registration to her residential address. That hasn’t happened yet.