57 of 60 Voter Challenges Sustained by
Pasquotank County Board of Elections
On Thursday, April 18, 2013 the Pasquotank Board of Elections convened a hearing to address the 60 Voter Challenges to voters using 1704 Weeksville Road (Elizabeth City State University) as their voting address. Richard "Pete" Gilbert, Pasquotank GOP Chairman and a resident of the 4th ward brought the challenges after successfully challenging four voters on election day. One of the main points that Mr. Gilbert made during the proceedings is the North Carolina laws regarding
residency of college students. Case law in North Carolina provides the legal presumption that college students are NOT domiciled in the college town to which they go. It is a rebuttable presumption that can be overcome with the greater weight of the evidence. (from NC State Board of Election's General Counsel, Don Wright, in his paper Residency for Election Purposes.) Case law also provides that the person alleging the change in domicile (the student) bears the burden of proof in providing evidence of the change. Proof could be a North Carolina driver' license or form of ID or bill that bears the name of the voter and their new address. But students do not change their address. They go home on weekends and Christmas because they have not abandoned their previous domicile.
North Carolina Election Law provides that there are four prongs to changing residency:
(1) Abandon the first domicile with the intent (2) not to return to it, (3) acquire a new domicile with the intent of (4) making the new domicile a permanent home. Mr. Anthony Brown, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Elizabeth City State University testified that the dorms at ECSU are temporary housing for students. When asked where they go on Christmas holiday, he replied "they go home". Students are not allowed to access their dorms during Christmas and other university breaks. Their rights to visitors are limited and they are not allowed to have spouses or children live with them. Sometimes they do not even get to pick their room mate. Specifically, students residing in campus housing at ECSU cannot make this a permanent home, as required by election law. While these are our laws, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has practically provided that students have a duty to register on campus. The SBOE policies have relaxed the laws for students registering to vote at
One Stop thereby creating a special class of voters. College students do not have to meet the same standards as you or I when registering to vote. Parents are paying tuition to NC colleges and universities that are encouraging, with the assistane of the NC State Board of Elections, their child to register in the college town when they could be in fact breaking the law. Mr. Gilbert made this point clear.
We encourage all citizens to register and vote, but college students do not get a pass when it comes to
following NC election laws.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THOSE
WHO ARE ELECTED, APPOINTED, AND HIRED,
LEGISLATE, EDUCATE, AND ADMINISTER OUR ELECTION LAWS
FAIRLY TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR VOTING SYSTEM.
P O I N T S O F I N T E R E S T
58 of the challenged voters voted in Pasquotank County in November 2012. 59 of the challenged voters lived in one precinct and used the address of
Elizabeth City State University (1704 Weeksville Road, Elizabeth City, NC 27909)
1 voter, (Neemia Vitale) who registered, was not a citizen of the United States. 1 voter (Shanay Carrie Thomas) appeared and testified that she lived in Portsmouth, VA. when she voted in the November 2012 election. 1 voter, a recent ECSU graduate (Illiana Basia Thomas) now living and working in California, admitted in writing to using a Pasquotank address to vote via Mail. 1 voter, a recent ECSU graduate (Charles Barton) registered in Miami, FL and registered in Pasquotank on the very same day, Oct 9, 2012. To register in Pasquotank he used online vote in NC. 52 of these voters cannot be located as their first class mail was returned "undeliverable" or "no longer resides at this address". These 58 voters had the opportunity to change their address when they voted, but elected not to. In fact, they all signed an affidavit on their Voter Authorization Form that they did, in fact, live at 1704 Weeksville Road. This is a felony. 52 of the challenges were sustained by a unanimous vote of a board that consists of one Republican and two Democrats. Pasquotank Board of Elections Chairmain, Michele Aydlett advised, when questioned
that these incidences of voter fraud would be referred to the District Attorney at their next
V O T E R F R A U D I D E N T I F I E D