Civitas sues North Carolina Board of Elections to verify eligibility of same day registrants before counting ballots

Legitimate voters should never have their votes cancelled by illegitimate voters.


The Civitas Center for Law and Freedom has filed a federal lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections to halt counting of potentially-invalid ballots cast via same day registration in the 2016 election until those registrants’ eligibility can be verified as required by law.


The lawsuit states that “notwithstanding the requirements of the law, applications submitted through the SDR process are not verified before the ballots cast by those applicants are counted” and that “reliable data show that the problem of unverified registrants is significant. There exists a higher rate of SDR applicants failing the mail verification process as compared to the ordinary registration process. A 2015 study by the Board found that the failure rate for SDR applicants in the 2012 general election was 2.44% as compared to a rate of 0.34% for non-SDR registrants.”


A report on the referenced 2015 study is attached to the election protest Civitas filed with the SBOE.


Civitas also notes that in its decision enjoining North Carolina’s repeal of same day registration (N. Carolina State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals cited evidence that fully 3% of SDR applicants fail the mail verification process.


With more than 90,000 ballots cast via same day registration in the 2016 general election, a similar failure rate would yield 3,000 invalid ballots, enough to change the outcomes of close races – which is why the state’s General Assembly passed a law eliminating the practice.


Civitas President Francis De Luca, the plaintiff in the suit, said, “To count ballots without verification of same-day registration information discriminates by treating one class of voters differently from another. Furthermore, this calls into question the outcome of close elections such as the one we are still in the middle of in North Carolina. Legitimate voters should never have their votes cancelled by illegitimate voters. The State Board of Elections should examine every ballot cast via same-day registration to verify that every vote cast is genuine and legitimate.”

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