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Data Entry Errors Could Have Caused Much of the Voting Irregularities in North Carolina


Data Entry Errors

Recent reports point to several hundred cases of potential voter fraud relating to the 2012 presidential election in North Carolina. It seems that NC’s voter rolls are terribly flawed and contain numerous duplicates, deceased voters, and voters who have since left the state. NC’s state’s elections board made the following observations:

  • Up to 765 registered North Carolina voters appear to have cast ballots in two states during the election – the first names, last names, birthdates and last four digits of the Social Security numbers of these voters appear to match information for voters in another state.
  • 35,570 voters in North Carolina who voted in 2012 had first names, last names and dates of birth that match those of voters who voted in other states in 2012, though their Social Security numbers were not matched
  • 155,692 registered North Carolina voters had first and last names, dates of birth and final four Social Security number digits that matched voters registered in other states, but these voters most recently registered or voted elsewhere
  • Up to 13,416 deceased voters had not been removed from voter rolls as of October 2013. Eighty-one of them had died before the election, but they are recorded as having voted. However, 30 of these 81 voters seem to have legally cast their votes early via absentee ballot and then died before Election Day

Reasons for Voting Fraud

One reason for the double vote is that voters who moved out of state left without notifying their local boards of elections. These could be voters that have to be removed the voter rolls of North Carolina.

Experts say that nearly half of the reported irregularities in the voting system are the result of data entry errors by either a poll or precinct workers. They could have marked the wrong person. In other cases, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) officials may have ensured that Social Security numbers matched but would not have checked if the names did.

Measures to Reform the Voting System

The North Caroline elections board has requested permission to build a secure database of digital photographs and electronic signatures which can be made available to county elections workers through the state’s secure electronic poll book system. This will help poll workers check immediately for duplicate voting.

  • It can notify whether a voter has already voted absentee or during the early voting period
  • Data entry errors can be avoided, as it will automatically scan the driver’s license to pull up voter’s information

Electronic poll book systems can execute poll site procedures systematically and perform audits and recounts quickly and correctly, and eliminate paper poll book related costs and inefficiencies.

About Rajeev R

Rajeev R

Manages the day-to-day operations of MOS from NY. With an interest in information technology, Rajeev has guided MOS to extensive use of digital technology and the internet that benefits MOS as well as MOS clients.