Last week the North Carolina legislature held a hearing on a new bill to require photo ID in order to vote. So many speakers turned out with prepared scripts about stories of voter fraud – prepared by a Tea Party voter-challenge group – that the local press mentioned it as part of the coverage. At least one of the speakers, the woman on the right, mentioned it as part of her testimony. She told lawmakers:
“And I have of course here another one of these things from the Voter Integrity people who have done a magnificent job in their research.”
Or maybe not. Over the weekend the group, the Voter Integrity Project, posted a note saying that it might have made mistakes in those scripts, but please make voting harder anyway. The statement in full:
Late this afternoon, we learned that some of our findings, revealed at the April 10 public Legislative hearing, may be inaccurate; so we plan to issue a full report after completing an audit. While we regret this human error and apologize for any embarrassment it may have caused to the presenters and to election officials, we caution the public against losing sight of the undeniable fact that North Carolina’s voter rolls are so corrupted that, without an effective voter ID law, it will be impossible to know who is really voting. Keeping that in mind, we look forward to constructive engagement with any stakeholders who support open and honest elections in our state.
Among the anecdotes prepared by the Voter Integrity Project were stories of noncitizens who were allowed to vote. You might remember our story about the Voter Integrity Project from last year, when the group challenged thousands of voter registrations just weeks before the election. The Voter Integrity Project challenged some registrations by saying the person was dead, even though the person was alive.
We also reported (video) that the Voter Integrity Project told the public it was a nonprofit, though in fact it was registered with the state as a business. The difference matters because by law, nonprofits must disclose their tax returns, giving the public a window into what they’re up to. As a for-profit business, even with no profits, the Voter Integrity Project is asserting itself in the public sphere with no way for the public to know who is behind it or on what scale it is operating or who is responsible for the possibly inaccurate testimony given to North Carolina lawmakers last week.
As for the extent or nature of the possible findings last week, we’ve got a message in to the Voter Integrity Project. If we hear back, we’ll let you know. You can watch video of the hearings yourself, courtesy of the indispensable @NC Capitol desk from WRAL.
The testimony quoted above is at about 32:00 here. The hearing begins with this reel. If you notice anything of particular interest, please mention it in the comments with the time it occurs. And thank you.