Illegal One-Stop Voting Activity
Special Report - November 2, 2012
The State Board of Elections is warning local election officials to be on the lookout for “illegal activity,” “aggressive electioneering” by some groups, and attempts to misinform voters at one-stop voting locations throughout North Carolina. In a memo to county election officials dated October 29, State Board of Elections Executive Director Gary Bartlett cited “numerous reports of aggressive electioneering at one-stop voting cites,” specifically the following incidents:
- “campaign and party supporters … breaching the buffer zone barriers and … approaching voters within the buffer zone;”
- The removal of buffer zone barriers;
- Voters being “approached in their vehicles while they are waiting in the curbside voting zone;”
- The use of “profanity and aggressive language” by individuals who are electioneering toward “supporters of opposing candidates or political parties;” and
- An isolated incident where “a one-stop worker was injured and required emergency medical attention when she attempted to protect the buffer zone from an overly aggressive electioneerer.”
“These reports are disheartening and this behavior cannot be tolerated,” Bartlett wrote in the memo. “County boards of elections when conducting one-stop absentee voting and election day voting, have a duty to enforce peace and good order in and about the polling place and the place of one-stop registration and voting. This includes not only the voting enclosure, but also the buffer zone.” Bartlett reminded county election officials that they may “call upon law enforcement to aid them” in enforcing the law.
Bartlett also cited reports of “voters purposefully being given misinformation about the 2012 General Election,” including: voters being told that they can vote online or by phone; that if they “are affiliated with a certain political party they must vote Wednesday, November 7 instead of Tuesday, November 6;” voters being visited by people misidentifying themselves as county election officials who are conducting surveys; and voters being told that they must re-register each time they vote. Bartlett reminded county election officials that under North Carolina law (specifically G.S. § 163-275(17),) "it is a “felony ‘[f]or any person, directly or indirectly, to misrepresent the law to the public through mass mailing or any other means of communication where the intent and the effect is to intimidate or discourage potential voters from exercising their lawful right to vote.’”
“Without question, the State Board of Elections and county boards of elections respect the right of individuals to proactively support and promote their candidates, party or ballot issues of choice,” Mr. Bartlett wrote. “[H]owever, this right is balanced by an obligation to respect the rights of others and the rule of law. We must have civility in our voting and polling places; aggressive and unlawful electioneering shall not be tolerated.”
Early, one-stop voting in North Carolina began on October 18 and runs through November 3. The State Board of Elections website contains information about one-stop voting and provides a list of one-stop voting locations by county.
Although the North Carolina Family Policy Council has already distributed all of the 500,000 print versions of its “2012 General Election Voter Guide,” the information in the guide, plus candidate questionnaires, are available online.
Voter Guides Gone - October 26, 2012
Early One-Stop Voting Begins Today - October 18, 2012
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.