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Board of Elections investigating alleged misconduct at some voter drives

The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement is investigating alleged misconduct at voter registration drives in New Hanover, Pitt and Robeson counties.

The State Board received reports that individuals misinformed voters that they must re-register in order to cast a ballot in November, according to a Friday news release. Voters who are already registered do not have to re-register or update their registrations unless they have moved or wish to change their name or party affiliation.

The State Board also reported receiving information that individuals approached people at their homes or businesses, falsely identifying themselves as county or state elections workers. And in recent months, the agency investigated reports of falsified registration documents delivered to county boards of elections offices.

“Voters should check their registrations online,” said Board Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach. “There is no reason to submit a new form unless the information is outdated. The State Board will investigate all credible allegations of voter registration fraud by individuals or organizations. When workers involved in voter drives falsify or alter information on registration forms, it can cause problems for innocent voters at the polls.”

It is unlawful in North Carolina to pay voter drive participants on a per-form basis. It is a Class I felony to falsify a voter registration form and a Class 2 misdemeanor to retain a copy of a registrant’s confidential information, such as date of birth or driver license number, according to the news release.

The State Board encourages voters to consider the following tips:

  1. Check your voter registration status through the State Board’s “Voter Search” tool here.
  2. If you are not registered or need to update your registration, applications are available on the State Board website and at all county boards of elections offices.
  3. Always ask voter registration workers to verify their identities and their organizations before providing any information. If an individual refuses to comply, do not provide any information and call the State Board office immediately at 919-814-0700. Ask for the Investigations Division.
  4. If you fill out a registration form as part of a registration drive, you may personally return the form to your county board of elections, either in person or by mail. You do not have to give the form back to the voter drive worker.
  5. County and state elections officials do not go door-to-door. If a person claims to be a state or county elections worker, ask them for identification, take down their name and contact the State Board office immediately at 919-814-0700.

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