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Elections director: Voters getting false information about registration

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Pitt County Board of Elections is getting reports that registered voters are being told they have to re-register if they want to vote in November’s election.

The information is coming from individuals who are supposedly conducting a voter registration drive, said Elections Director Dave Davis. His office has not been able to identity who is coordinating the drive.

Davis said people should be cautious when approached.

Davis said he received an email about an incident on Thursday. When he talked with his staff, they had received similar reports of people either going door to door in neighborhoods or approaching individuals at convenience stores urging them to register to vote. 

Davis said the wife of his assistant director received a telephone call at home with a similar message.

“We want folks to understand they don’t have to re-register,” Davis said. “If they are already registered and if none of their information is changed they don’t have to re-register.”

A registered voter only has to re-register when they move to a new address, change their name, or want to change their political party affiliation.

“The way things are today, with identity theft and people acting with nefarious motives, it makes our job tough because we want people to register and we don’t want people to be afraid to register or to be afraid to vote,” Davis said. Under North Carolina law, registered voters only have to re-register if they have relocated and had a change of address or if they want to change their political party affiliation, Davis said.

“Stuff like this makes our job more difficult. We want people to register but we want them to do it carefully,” he said.

According to the N.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, names are only removed from the voting rolls if the individual is dead, had received a felony conviction and has not had their citizenship rights restored, have moved from the county and not registered at a new location or for “lack of voter contact.”

Davis explained that if registered voters have not participated in two federal elections — the contests for Congress and the president — their name will be placed on inactive status and the board will attempt to reach them. If the individual does not contact the elections board and does not participate in two more federal elections, then they are removed for the voter rolls.

However, if a person’s whose name was removed wants to vote, they will be given a provisional ballot, Davis said. If election officials determine they have not registered in another community and still live in Pitt County, their ballot will still be counted, he said.

Davis said if individuals are asked to register to vote, they should ask the person for their name and to identify the organization they are working with.

“I’ve asked people before, what organization are you with. If they don’t tell you, don’t fill out the form,” he said.

“And if they say they are from the Pitt County Board of Elections or the state board of elections, they are probably not,” Davis said.

Davis said his office only conducts voter registration drives at the request of groups. When his office does conduct a registration drive they clearly identify themselves through their clothing and badges.

Davis said people who aren’t registered to vote but want to register should take the form home, fill it out and either mail it or bring it to their local board of elections office.

The Pitt County elections office is located at 1717 W. Fifth St., Greenville, in a navy blue building behind the Pitt County Office Building. The mailing address is Pitt County Board of Elections, P.O. Box 56, Greenville, NC, 27835.

People also can download a registration form from the state elections board website, www.ncsbe.gov, and mail it in.

“Here we are, just in early August and if folks are being overly aggressive about it, you know it is only going to get more intense as we get closer to the election,” Davis said. “Let’s go ahead and get the information out to everybody. If you are registered, you don’t have to fill out the form.”

 

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

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