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WaPo: 17,900 non-citizen voters in NC’s 2008 elections

Posted Monday, October 27, 2014

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Raleigh,NC - Stunning numbers from Friday’s Washington Post and VIP’s own research raise some serious doubts about SBoE reassurances that only 1,425 non-US citizens are registered to vote in NC. We estimate the number to be at least 10,000 and the Post pegged it around 17,900.

Urging “no cause for alarm,” Rep Harry Warren issued a detailed email to his colleagues, intended to bring closure to a media storm, created after James Johnson of the immigration-watchdog group, NC Fire discovered a large number of non-US citizens who are registered to vote in North Carolina.

While the SBoE gets a temporary pass for not explaining exactly how each illegal registration occurred, we give no credence to 1,425 voters being the final answer (109 from DACA and 1,316 from “legacy records”). Without knocking their hard work, we caution them and Rep Warren on spinning the number as if there were no more non-citizen voters in NC. It just ain’t so.

500+ Non-Citizen Voters in Wake County Alone!

Setting aside for a moment Friday’s Washington Post blockbuster that estimates around 17,800 non-US citizens actually voted in NC’s 2008 election, our own research suggests there are more than 10,000 on the rolls. We hope to confirm that estimate, but cannot do so without cooperation from a number of state agencies.

We notified Kim Strach along with Reps Warren and Cleveland via email, Saturday morning, about our concerns over their low-ball estimate. I explained why our research team believes the number is somewhere above 10,000 as we gave them a detailed research protocol we need them to follow if they want to find more non-citizen voters.

Side note: A reporter once accused us of being an “anti-immigration” group, but he has since recognized the broader scope of our work. We are part of the nationwide election integrity movement, along the lines of the civil rights and environmental movements of earlier eras. While we have researched the non-citizen voter problem, even a cursory search of our website will show that our overall focus is on restoring trust in the American electoral process .

The Cliff Notes on our 2012 research into non-citizen voting is that a three-year snapshot of Wake County jury disqualification records led us to 532 people who had both a) registered to vote and b) disqualified themselves from jury duty by “proving” to an officer of the courts that they were not US citizens. (The officer was Wake County Clerk of Courts, Lorrin Freeman). Among that group, 130 had actually voted before they convinced Ms. Freeman they were not US citizens, which could be a felony under NC law. A video account of our initial filing is here. While only eighteen of the 532 had obeyed the law to obtain a “Legal Presence” driver’s licenses, seven became US citizens by the time of our challenges. We supported dismissing those few, but the rest were problematic both for us and the Wake County BOE.

It must have seemed easier for the highly partisan board to shoot the messenger rather than admit the problem; so they dismissed all our challenges and their buddies at Democracy NC tried to shame us into silence with a well-executed media ambush. (To see the embarrassing results of Bob Hall’s skillful propaganda, click here.)

Bottom line: We lost in a kangaroo court, but hastily departed knowing that our research had rattled them. It was solid–both valid and replicable–with 500+ non-citizen voters from just a three-year snapshot in only one county, we knew 10,000 would be an easy bet to win. Last Friday, the Washington Post raised the ante.

WaPo Math: 17,900 Non-Citizen NC Voters in 2008

Not surprisingly, the Washington Post quietly slipped this bad-news article onto their website, late Friday afternoon, using a standard public relations tactic that admits ugly news while people are distracted. Since they worked that hard to minimize the story’s impact Friday, we figured it was our duty to alert the public Monday morning.

The writers, Jesse Richman and David Earnest (hawking their $19.95 full report here) matter-of-factly said around 6.4% of America’s non-citizen population voted in the 2008 election. It was a breezy article, without much methodology; but they ran enough numbers to spill the beans. . . since the President only needed 5.1% of North Carolina’s estimated non-citizen population to vote in order for him to win.

In math, their article equated NC’s 14,177-vote margin in the 2008 Presidential election to 5.1% of the state’s non-citizen population. Applying simple algebra, they estimated a total NC non-citizen population of 277,980. So, if the 6.4% national average held steady in NC, then 17,790 non-US citizens voted. If I lost you, please try the next paragraph instead.

In English, the Washington Post estimates around 18,000 non-US citizens probably voted in NC in 2008. And, oh by the way, they subtly mentioned in the fifth paragraph, that two elections were close enough to be affected by non-US citizen voters that year: Minnesota’s Senate (won by 312 votes) and North Carolina’s President (won by 14,177 votes). They concluded that both races were determined by non-citizen voters, since (they also reported) that group overwhelmingly votes Democrat.

But. . . as scandal-ridden politicians love to say, “that’s old news.”

The future is what mostly concerns the public; so we challenge Governor McCrory on this: It is within his purview to get to the truth. He should launch a full-scale investigation that will include a mash up between the voter rolls and several state agency data sets to see how many non-citizen voters can be found. Using records from DMV, Corrections, Education, Courts and a handful of other state agencies, the truth is buried in his own back yard. . . but it will take courage to dig it up.

 
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