Carolyn Perry remembers voting in her first election. It was 1967 in Ohio, a municipal election, and she was 21 years old. “The people at the polls introduced me and said, ‘This is Carolyn and this is her first time to vote,'” recalled the retired special education teacher. Perry, who has been registered to vote in North Carolina since at least 1975, according to election records, was dismayed to receive a letter this month from the Wake County Board of Elections suggesting she may no longer be qualified to vote because she might be dead. “My initial reaction? I was mad as hell,” Perry said Monday morning. Her name was one of nearly 30,000 across the state that volunteers with the Voter Integrity Project identified two weeks ago as potentially being dead but still registered to vote. The Voter Integrity Project is a North Carolina offshoot of True the Vote, a national movement that purports to combat election fraud by challenging the voter registration of those they believe should not be on voter lists. “We’re not really interested in partisan politics,” said Jay DeLancy, a retired Air Force officer and director of Voter Integrity Project. “As an organization, we try to eliminate those kinds of biases in our research.”
t’s not every day that a Wake County Elections Board hearing is the setting for a temper tantrum. That’s what happened today when the Voter Integrity Project’s Jay DeLancy snatched his microphone off the board’s table mid-meeting, kicking glass doors open in front of him as he stormed out of the meeting room in the Public Safety Center. He slowed down once he realized news cameras were chasing him. Earlier this year, DeLancy brought the Wake Elections Board some 550 challenges to voters he says are not legally entitled to vote in the US – proven, he says, by DMV and jury duty records that say they’re not citizens. Elections board investigators and voting-rights advocates who looked into the allegations say DeLancy used old DMV records and mismatched names, and failed to understand how the county collects data. Only 18 challenges rose to the level of further investigation. All 18 were dismissed today.