224,000 people listed on NC voter list with ‘missing’ ID numbers

224,000 people listed on NC voter list with ‘missing’ ID numbers

North Carolina voter records list more than 224,000 people with registration dates after January 2004 whose data is “missing” both the last four digits of their Social Security Number (SSN) and their driver’s license identification number, according to public records obtained by The Federalist.

The 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) required states to verify certain “information of newly registered voters for federal elections,” according to the Social Security Administration. “Each state must establish a computerized statewide voter registration list and verify new voter information with the state Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).” These requirements came into effect on January 1, 2004.

States must verify the potential voter’s driver’s license number against the MVA database, but if a person does not have a driver’s license, states must use the last four digits of their Social Security number, name and date of birth. Notably, verifying a registrant’s Social Security Number or driver’s license does not necessarily confirm their citizenship, as foreigners can obtain both.

The system is intended to ensure that potential voters are eligible. Yet in North Carolina, hundreds of thousands of registrations entered the system without this verification information, according to allegations from election integrity activists.

“We now have hundreds of thousands of ineligible, duplicate, deceased and noncitizens blowing up our voter rolls — the breeding ground for election fraud,” Jim Womack, president of the North Carolina Election Integrity Team, said in a statement to The Federalist.

Data obtained through an April public records request by Carol Snow, who is with the North Carolina Audit Force group, and reviewed by The Federalist appears to show that more than 4,500 additional voters have been added to the rolls since January 2024 , despite their records not showing an SSN or driver’s license identification number.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections released the data, which is formatted as a massive spreadsheet, to Snow on April 15. The Federalist filtered the data to count the number of active, inactive, and temporary (military and foreign) voters listed. by the state as both “missing social security number” and “missing driver’s license (number).”

Filtering the data by county, the data indicates that since January, Mecklenburg County saw 726 registrants who fit that description, Durham saw 518, Guilford County saw 406, Onslow County saw 289 and Robeson saw 305. The statewide data Filtering for voters with registration data from the past year where both identification numbers are “missing” yields more than 22,000 records.

Notably, the state’s old voter registration form did not make it clear to applicants that their driver’s license identification number or the last four digits of their Social Security number were required. The old form marked “required” fields, such as name, address and date of birth, in red. However, the boxes for driver’s license number or SSN were not marked.

“The form does not require registrants to provide either of these two federally mandated information requirements,” Womack told The Federalist.

In November 2023, after Snow filed a complaint, the Board of Elections acknowledged that the lack of clear instructions in the old form requiring such ID numbers could lead to HAVA violations. The board unanimously agreed to update the voter registration application to “ensure it is clear that applicants must provide their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number when registering to vote,” NCSBE Public Information Director Patrick . Gannon told The Federalist.

The new form, which came into circulation earlier this year, makes it clear that such identifying information is required. However, the board “has not agreed to the request that county boards refuse to accept voter registration forms currently in circulation.”

“When forms are submitted to local election boards by mail or in person, they are accepted without challenge,” Womack claimed.

Gannon told The Federalist that if a new registrant is using the old form, counties should “ensure that the applicant has completed the Section 3 portion of the form by providing an identification number or by checking the box indicating that they don’t have such a number. .” If a new registrant leaves that part of the form blank, “then the record must be stored in the incomplete queue and the voter must be sent a new registration form and an incomplete letter informing them that the application cannot be processed until that information has been provided. .”

The new form is linked in English on the North Carolina Board of Elections website. However, users looking for the Spanish voter registration application are still directed to an old-fashioned form. Womack said what is especially concerning is “the inability to enforce the HAVA-required recording of driver’s license or SSN information on new registrants.”

Womack told The Federalist that the state has difficulty “maintaining accurate voter rolls or adequately screening new candidates for those rolls” because of what he describes as “overly restrictive legal interpretations” of HAVA and the National Voter Registration Act.

When the board considered Snow’s complaint about the registration form in November, it also rejected a “requested resolution to contact all existing registered voters whose electronic records do not show a driver’s license number (or) the last four digits of a Social Security number” , claiming “that remedy, when applied to an existing registered voter… is not specifically permitted in HAVA.” Womack said election administrations are “censured … from maintaining clean voter rolls.”

The board’s order stated that anyone who registered to vote without providing their Social Security number or driver’s license number would not be allowed to vote “without proving their identity in accordance with HAVA.”

Gannon acknowledged to The Federalist that the administration has no “reason to believe” that the 224,000 figure and other numbers reflected by the data are “inaccurate.” However, he said the number would include not only voters who have not provided an identifying number, but also those whose identifying information “does not validate through the database check with DMV and SSA.”

“Failure to validate does not necessarily mean the person provided an invalid number,” he said, claiming that things like “name change or variation” or even “unexplained” system errors could impact the database’s ability to accurately match voters who otherwise have a valid SSN or Driver’s License Number. Gannon also added that federal law “requires election officials to process a voter registration form from a voter who states he or she does not possess an SSN or DL ​​number. These voters will not have an SSN or DL ​​number on file at all, but they will also be required to confirm their identity before voting under “state law.”

“It is incorrect to say that all of this information is ‘missing’ SSN or DL, as if it was not provided and the voter did not legally verify their identity,” Gannon told The Federalist.

When asked how many voters fall into each category he mentioned — failed validation due to a system error, failed validation due to name changes or variations, and voters who don’t have an SSN or DL ​​but eventually confirm their identity — Gannon said he had no data for the first two. He said the board “may” have a way to find out the number of voters who fall into the third category, but that it would “take time” because the data team is “overloaded.”

Earlier this month, the NCSBE dismissed a complaint from Snow alleging it found instances of potential duplicate voters on voter rolls, according to WRAL. Administration staff argued that Snow’s claims were false “apparently due to errors or because Snow does not have access to certain data that the state has but the public does not – such as voters’ Social Security numbers – to monitor voters with similar names to keep,” like fathers. and sons. Snow countered that “a father and a son were not born in the same year, as registration records show.”

The Federalist also contacted the Social Security Administration for more information but received no response.

Brianna Lyman is an election correspondent at The Federalist.