Interested in committing voter fraud in the upcoming election? North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has some pointers.
“North Carolina does not currently require voters to show an ID when voting,” Forest says in a recent video titled Voter Fraud 101. “Because of this glaring loophole, committing voter fraud is easy in our state. Just for fun here’s one way an organized group could commit voter fraud in North Carolina.”
Forest goes on to explain how individuals could generate a list of “eligible voters who have not yet voted and have a history of not showing up at the polls” using public records available via the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics, and use those identities to vote early the morning of Election Day – before the real voters have a chance to cast their ballots.
“It’s that simple and all because North Carolina doesn’t require a photo voter ID,” Forest says. (It’s really not that easy, WRAL explains.)
Requiring a photo ID to vote is among six proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot this election. But legislators won’t determine what types of ID would be accepted – or whether the state would make available free IDs — until after votes are cast. A previous law requiring photo ID was struck down in 2016 by a federal court, which said it had targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
According to the Associated Press, the video was paid for by the North Carolina Republican Council of State Committee, which shared it on its Facebook page two weeks ago. Since then, it’s been viewed about forty-two thousand times. At the end of the video, Forest’s campaign logo and slogan – “Run Forest Run” – flashes across the screen. The video also appears on his campaign website.
Voter Fraud 101 appears to be part of a series of videos Forest is making about the issue.
In a previous video on the need for voter ID, he says as North Carolinians get ready to vote on six proposed constitutional amendments – one being the photo ID requirement – he would be putting out several videos on “how voter fraud is rampant in North Carolina and how that fraud is committed.”
In that video, Forest outlines “the most common” argument against voter ID, used by its opponents and “allies in the media”: That the policy is a form of voter suppression aimed at minority groups. Forest goes on to list other things you need an ID to do and accuses opponents of voter ID of assuming minorities are not capable of getting an ID.
“The only reason to push for voting without an ID is because you intend to commit fraud,” he says.
Of course, there is not rampant voter fraud. An audit by the state Board of Elections found that out of 4.8 million North Carolinians who cast ballots in the 2016 election, there were twenty-four cases of double-voting substantiated (which could be due to administrative errors), two cases of voter impersonation referred to prosecutors, and “no evidence of ballot stuffing or equipment tampering.”
According to the North Carolina Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center, about 218,000 North Carolinians – disproportionately people of color — lack photo ID. Taking into account travel time, wait time and fees, the Budget and Tax Center also found the cost of photo IDs to be higher in rural counties. In other states with photo ID laws, low-income voters and voters who live far from DMV offices face barriers in getting IDs.