The Director of North Carolina based Voter Integrity Project told Big League Politics that President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for Western District of North Caroline U.S. attorney, R. Andrew Murray is unacceptable based on his willful failure to prosecute voter fraud.
“Last week we took this action to ask President Trump to withdraw the nomination because Mr. Murray refused to prosecute interstate double voters that we investigated and that the State Board of Elections referred to him for criminal prosecution. But he said he was too busy to bother with such low-level crimes,” said Jay Delancy, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Delancy is also president of the national Election Integrity Alliance, a nonprofit established to empower other state-based election integrity organizations.
The VIP has triggered dozens of criminal referrals for vote fraud and has so far secured two convictions: One in Tennessee and one in North Carolina,” the air force veteran said.
Two of the cases that Delancy said are an example of Murray’s refusal to root out voter fraud involved, Janelle R. Jenkins and Sammy K. Nichols of Mecklenburg County, who the VIP determined had voted in Florida and North Carolina.
The Jenkins and Nichols cases were discovered by citizen election reform advocates frustrated at the lack of seriousness their investigations bring. “Imagine what the government could do if they looked,” he said.
Because of Murray’s refusal to prosecute Jenkins, Nichols and others, Delancy, who started working on voter fraud in his state in 2012, said he is calling for a special prosecutor. “If President Trump is serious about fighting vote fraud, then he should withdraw Andrew Murray’s nomination for US Attorney.”
Concerned citizens in voter integrity and reform groups are frustrated by the lack of prosecutions and seriousness their cases see in court, he said.
Megan C. McDonald, a community liaison coordinator in Murray’s office gave Big League Politics a statement on behalf of the Mecklenberg district attorney:
The Voter Integrity Project has asserted that the fact that someone cast two ballots is proof enough of intent. That is not supported by the law. State law says it is unlawful “for any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time, or to induce another to do so, in the same primary or election, or to vote illegally at any primary or election.” This means that to prosecute someone for double voting, this office must prove that the person actually intended to fraudulently vote at more than one precinct.
In the Jenkins case, McDonald said the woman, in this case, was surprised and frightened by an agent’s appearance at her door. “She was fully cooperative, and she clearly believed she had acted in accordance with the law. And in fact, her vote in Florida was not counted. After a review of the evidence, this office found she did not commit a crime.”
In the Nichols case, McDonald said:
The other case involves a man, now age 69, who travels between North Carolina and Florida and inadvertently voted in both states in the 2012 election. When he was interviewed by investigators about the incident years later, he acknowledged that he had registered and voted in person in Mecklenburg County. He said his son mailed an absentee ballot to him from Florida. He told investigators that he filled out the ballot, and he may have mailed it in error, but he did not recall whether he personally mailed the ballot or whether someone else mailed it for him. He said he thought obtaining his North Carolina driver’s license would have canceled his Florida voting registration. And in fact, when someone registers to vote in North Carolina, a notification generated by the registration system is supposed to be sent to the state in which he was previously registered. In this case, it appeared the man did not have any intention to commit voter fraud.
“The District Attorney’s Office is charged with enforcing the laws of North Carolina and seeking justice,” McDonald said.
“The decision to prosecute a defendant is based solely on the available evidence,” she said. “This office prosecutes crimes of every level every day. But prosecuting people when sufficient evidence does not exist simply for the sake of media attention to the Voter Integrity Project’s cause, as the Project suggested in a press release that this office should do, is simply wrong and unjust. This office does not – and will not – operate that way”
Delancy said Murray’s response to obvious crimes frustrates him.
“Several other referrals have been blocked by hesitant district attorneys, but one case in Florida is still pending that involves a sworn admission of voter impersonation fraud: the kind of voter fraud that would have been prevented if Florida had a real voter ID law, ” he said.
“While proving vote fraud is hard enough, it’s maddening that we cannot get prosecutors to act on our proof,” he said. “The types of fraud we’ve uncovered is non-citizen voting and interstate double voting, but we’ve also found close to 30,000 dead people on the voter rolls, which proved that state election officials were negligent in their list maintenance practice.”
Delancy said he and the advocates at his organization are thrilled that the president has focused on voter fraud by commissioning the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
One of the senior members of the commission, The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, said about Trump’s effort that the problem is not the magnitude of voter fraud. “In close or disputed elections, and there are many, a small amount of fraud could make the margin of difference.”