If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you read Shotgun Suppression from April 10th and A Day At The State Capitol from April 14th to put these events in context.
RALEIGH, NC–4:55 PM, Friday, April 12, 2013. 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.
Jay DeLancy, Executive Director
Voter Integrity Project of NC
Translation: we were wrong; we caused unwitting followers to lie to the North Carolina State Legislature; but continue to believe us and support us.
This is not the first credibility issue that this group has had. In 2012 they made a big splash of giving the North Carolina Board of Elections approximately 30,000 names that were on the voter rolls that they were certain were dead. After the “first pass” of the investigation, (by just comparing available databases), the Board of Elections whittled the list down to 4,946 – a reduction of about 83%. Upon further review the Board of Elections found no cases of dead voters among the remainder; they did however get a lot of surprise reactions from the very much alive people who opened letters from the Board of Election stating they were dead. Zero for 30,000 plus – a pretty sorry batting average. The Voter Integrity Project did succeed in diverting a lot of limited resources that were needed to prepare for the upcoming election.
Who exactly is financing the Voter Integrity Project is somewhat of an intentional mystery. Originally their website listed them as a non-partisan, non-profit organization. After being called out by The Rachel Maddow Show they removed the non-profit part. It seems they were incorporated and registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State as a for profit corporation. Interestingly, as such they are not obliged to disclose their funders. The concept is a take-off on True The Vote, a Texas based Tea Party organization. Sort of brings the non-partisan part into question.
The above italicized statement appeared on the group’s website last Friday at 4:55pm under the heading: Statement on possible errors. It is an old axiom in politics that if you want to bury a press release put it out late on a Friday afternoon. Last week when I testified before the North Carolina House of Representatives I questioned the accuracy of this group’s data and tactics in the politest possible terms. With the value of hindsight, perhaps I should have been less polite. This group is certainly partisan; in fact I think it is fair to call them manipulative operatives for the radical right. History proves their credibility is certainly suspect.
They have obviously succeeded in getting a large number of low/inaccurate information voters to follow them. Without the benefit of the obvious shadowy, big-money financial backers the Voter Integrity Project has, it is up to the progressive element to communicate the truth to the rest of the voters in North Carolina and then let them hold their legislators accountable.
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