By Chad Nance
With much fanfare and crowing, the GOP controlled North Carolina Board of Elections issued a purge list of voters that they claimed were ineligible to vote, but remained on the roles. Out of the 1425 names on the list, 73 were in Forsyth County. On Friday at a special meeting that was also supposed to serve as a preliminary hearing only 2 challenges to voters were brought and both were dismissed and the votes certified.
The first challenge was of Ms. Laura Lee. The contention made by the chief judge in the 708 precinct was that Ms. Lee is not an American citizen based on the state Board of Election’s list… except that she is a natural born citizen who started voting in 2012’s Presidential Election. Ms. Lee is a young, white lady who lives in Winston-Salem. She has also voted in both 2014 primaries (she skipped the 2013) municipals, and probably most important for making the BOE purge list… Ms. Lee is a registered Democrat.
The chief judge didn’t show so according to state law (The accuser must prove guilt and the accused does not have to prove innocence unless their accuser is present at the meeting.) Board Secretary Stuart Russell made note they did not approve of Ms. Lee’s vote until they had provided almost twenty minutes for the poll judge to arrive.
The only other challenge was for a Mr. Mbop. Chairman Ken Raymond made light of being able to pronounce the man’s name, but his challenger (The chief judge from precinct 901) didn’t show up either so his vote was approved.
When the State Board first issued it’s list many supporters of the “massive voter fraud” conspiracy theory like Forsyth BOE Chairman Ken Raymond were elated. At the time Raymond told Bertrand Gutierrez with the Winston-Salem Journal:
“There are a lot of people at the local and state level that are working hard to ensure the integrity of our voting process and to hear that there are 1,425 illegal registrations on our voter rolls is extremely troubling, especially since so many people are working to keep the voter rolls clean,” Raymond said in an email.
Later, he continued: “Regarding the 73 illegal registrations in Forsyth County, that’s something we’re going to talk about during our next meeting.”
Out of those 1,425 state-wide and 73 “illegal” registrations here in Forsyth County exactly zero resulted in a rejected vote in the 2014 General Election.