State

NC information sent to Trump’s voter fraud commission

Tom Clark, assistant judge, and Kem (cq) Gilmore work as a team to get forms to voters the old fashioned way at E.K. Powe Elementary School voting precinct in Durham on Nov. 8, 2016. A computer glitch shut down the county's new electronic voting system causing some delays at some precincts.
Tom Clark, assistant judge, and Kem (cq) Gilmore work as a team to get forms to voters the old fashioned way at E.K. Powe Elementary School voting precinct in Durham on Nov. 8, 2016. A computer glitch shut down the county's new electronic voting system causing some delays at some precincts. cliddy@newsobserver.com

The state sent publicly available information on North Carolina voters to President Donald Trump’s fraud commission, along with a letter highlighting the need to collaborate on hacking defenses.

Some voters pressured the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to defy the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity by not sending information it wants. President Donald Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud have been repeatedly debunked.

Some voters sought to cancel their registration to protest their information going to the commission.

The state is sending only information that is public record, which excludes Social Security numbers, signatures, and dates of birth.

The office also sent a copy of its April post-election audit, which found that 508 ineligible voters cast ballots in 2016. Most were convicted felons who appeared to be serving active sentences and were not eligible to vote.

In a letter to commission Vice-chairman Kris Kobach, Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the state board, highlighted her office’s investigative efforts. The office created an investigations division in 2015.

Strach cautioned that instances of noncitizen voting are not easy to catch, and require name-by-name checks.

“North Carolina voters who appeared to be non-citizens based on DMV data were later confirmed to be U.S. citizens 97.6 percent of the time” when checked against a Homeland Security database, she wrote. Even the check against the Homeland Security list does not produce completely accurate results, she wrote. After the 2016 election, 34 people listed as noncitizens in both the Division of Motor Vehicles and Homeland Security databases produced evidence of citizenship, she wrote.

Strach said North Carolina was one of the first states to work with Homeland Security on a security analysis of the state’s central database for voter records. Future state-federal coordination will be necessary, she wrote.

The state is analyzing laptops used in Durham on Election Day for evidence of hacking.

In June, a report in The Intercept, based on a leaked document, described Russian hackers’ attempts to infiltrate VR Systems software of the type used in Durham.

Problems with electronic poll books on Election Day forced voting to be extended in some Durham precincts.

“Confidence in electoral outcomes and democratic institutions is undermined by perceived as well as actual interference,” Strach wrote. “For this reason, regardless of the success or failure of attacks on our voting systems, cybersecurity remains a critical concern in North Carolina.”

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner

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