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Buncombe BOE misses the point


By Pam Danz- After pounding the pavements and computer keys to identify persons who are registered to vote at a particular address in Buncombe County, but who seem to no longer live there, Asheville TEA Party members and representatives from the Raleigh based Voter Integrity Project (VIP) were disappointed when the Board of Elections dismissed 55 out of the 182 challenges the concerned citizens brought to the Buncombe County Board of Elections’ attention.  “These were the ones who were active voters, the ones we were most worried about,” said Asheville Tea Party Chair Jane Bilello.


Executive Director of the Voter Integrity Project Jay DeLancy got the impression that the Board reasoned that if the voters in question had voted, they must be real voters.  They seem to have missed the point that if voters do not live at the address they say they live at they are not verified voters.  Legally you must live in a county to vote in it and if there is no proof of residence any vote you cast is in question.  DeLancy said, “We know for sure that these people are on the roll and the vulnerability exists that someone could walk in and, just by uttering the voter’s name and the address on record, they could vote in that person’s place.  Our concern is if someone else voted in their name the real voter will have essentially had their identity stolen.”  Each fraudulent vote cancels out the vote of a legitimate voter.


Some of the rejected challengers were voters who had asked to be contacted at P.O. boxes.  According to DeLancy this presents a risk because a fraudulent voter could rent P.O. Boxes in any number of bordering counties and vote as many times as he had boxes.  The objective of VIP is to correct the weaknesses in our current electoral process.  This might be one of them.


Another frustrating aspect of the hearing, which was held at 5:30 pm last Thursday in the William H. Stanley Building on Woodfin St., was that the TEA Partiers were accused of being racist.  DeLancy said, “One black lady in the room said we were racist to be challenging people’s votes.  When I offered her a copy of the list that showed that only 35 of the voters challenged were black, and 127 were white, she pushed my hand away.  Anybody who would accuse us of targeting a specific demographic needs to get their facts before they make an accusation like that.’“   (See the nearby chart that lists the details.)


The remaining challenges will continue through the process.  The remaining persons whose inquiry letters were returned to the sender because they were no longer at the listed address will be sent letters from the Board announcing that they must appear at an April 10th hearing, or send a representative with an affidavit.  They must swear that they still live in the county in order to remain as registered voters.


Demographic Breakdown of 182 Challenged Voters


Voted in 2012

Letters Returned







Mixed Race















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