CommunityPam's House Blend

Ah — shenanigans surface in Durham, NC with 90 people that were not able to vote. Not a large number, but these folks registered properly, but they were entitled to vote, including a man that was declared deceased, but was very much alive.

The Bull City had extraordinary early vote turnout, and went heavily Democrat.

About 1,000 Durham ballots rejected. (Herald-Sun):

Ninety people who weren’t allowed to vote in this year’s presidential election in Durham County said they tried to register at state DMV offices, but the Board of Elections has no record of receiving their applications.

More than 100 other people said they registered by mail, although at least 12 indicated their forms were mailed after the Oct. 8 deadline.

Those were two findings from The Herald-Sun’s review of the provisional ballot applications from the Nov. 2 election. If a voter’s name doesn’t appear on the registration list when he or she shows up to vote, federal law requires that the voter be given a provisional ballot. The ballot, which remains secret, is placed inside an envelope. On the outside, an application lists the voter’s reason he or she should be allowed to vote.

In Durham County this year, 2,820 people voted provisionally out of a total of 111,685 voters. Of those, the Board of Elections said 1,030 applications eventually were rejected. The Herald-Sun’s review counted only 998 rejected ballots.

Of the 1,030 rejected ballots, elections officials said Democrats cast 582, Republicans cast 160, unaffiliated voters cast 282, and Libertarians cast six.

Statewide, 49,362 people voted this year using a provisional ballot, and 19,016 of those were rejected.

Mike Ashe, director of the Durham County Board of Elections, said with all the election hype and get-out-the-vote efforts, he expected more provisional ballots. And considering the large number of votes cast, he feels like the system worked.

But even with provisional ballots, the election system still isn’t necessarily fail-safe, he said.

Board of Elections notes, for example, indicated that Durham resident Sammy Johnson’s vote didn’t count because he was deceased. But when contacted by a reporter, Johnson said he not only was alive, but he thought the problem had been resolved and his vote had been counted.

“Well, I got to tell you, I was very upset. I have been voting ever since I was old enough to vote,” said Johnson, a 38-year-old who is self-employed. “I can’t understand how the [Elections Board] can’t get it together.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding