Election Integrity Under Threat in North Carolina

Press Releases

December 7, 2020

IRLI investigation puts spotlight on national crisis of non-citizen voting

WASHINGTON—An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has found that some of the largest counties in North Carolina have identified non-citizens in their jury pools, raising questions about the state’s election integrity and voter registration procedures.

With a growing population of about 10.5 million people, North Carolina is quickly emerging as one of the country’s most pivotal swing states for presidential elections and the perennial battle for control of Congress. However, questions have lingered for years over how well state and county officials have acted to preserve the integrity of the election process, particularly in regard to the illegal participation of non-citizens.

In Mecklenburg County, the state’s second most populous county which includes metropolitan Charlotte, a total of 51 individuals were removed from the jury pool list because of non-citizenship between October 28, 2019 to July 7, 2020, the county’s Jury Office confirmed to IRLI. The Cumberland County Clerk of Superior Court, which operates in the state’s fifth most populous county, revealed that 18 potential jurors were removed for non-citizenship between October 1, 2019 to July 7, 2020. And lastly, Forsyth – the state’s fourth most populous county — reported a total of 16 potential jurors removed for non-citizenship from December 19, 2019 to October 6, 2020.

“These results are a snapshot from a specific area over a specific time,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “While this data alone may not alter an election outcome, it is evidence of the larger crisis of non-citizen voting on the national level. Every vote by a legal or illegal alien cancels out the vote of an American citizen. It is a violation of the core principles of our constitutional republic. If we as a nation cannot remedy the problem of election fraud, then we have surrendered the right to choose our representatives and will instead live under the permanent rule of unaccountable political elites.”

The relation between jury pools and the voting booth stems from how counties generate their list of potential jurors. A spokesperson for the North Carolina judicial branch confirmed that their jury pool is derived from two sources: The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and voter registration. While the spokesperson claimed that non-citizens manage to make it on the jury pool list via the DMV by using state IDs, driver’s licenses, or vehicle registrations, the presence of non-citizens in jury pools creates the potential that state voter rolls include illegal voters.

The specter of election fraud in the Tar Heel State has been an ongoing concern. The Voter Integrity Project (VIP) of North Carolina, founded in 2011, was created with the intention of ensuring free and fair election to every lawfully registered voter in the state. Almost immediately after launching the organization, co-founder Jay Delancy uncovered major discrepancies in North Carolina’s voting rolls.

Delancy and VIP co-founder John Pizzo began analyzing the state’s voter rolls in 2012. The pair obtained jury records from the Clerk of Courts in Wake County, the state’s second most populous county at that time, and discovered that, during a three-year window of time, roughly 6,000 prospective jurors disqualified themselves by notifying to the court that they were not U.S. citizens.

This was not the end of their discovery. Delancy and Pizzo then compared these names to the voter rolls, uncovering a total of 532 registered voters who had informed the court that they were not U.S. citizens. VIP’s investigative work had found that, of this group, 130 participated in an election at least once before being disqualified.

The issue of non-citizens illegally participating in North Carolina elections has ostensibly persisted throughout the years. VIP, for example, uncovered more evidence in 2016 of malfeasance in relation to a Jamaican citizen who admitted to voting twice in the state.

Delancy told IRLI that this problem “runs deep” and that government leaders have done little to address it.

“The fact is that every state has mountains of evidence that would make it easy to get non-citizen voters off the rolls and possibly deported,” he said. “But so far, all parties have lacked the political will.”

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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