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Wake Co. election board dismisses voter registration challenges

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RALEIGH — The Wake County Board of Elections dismissed all challenges questioning the citizenship of nearly 20 voters and removed one voter from the county's voter roll.

During a hearing Tuesday, the board addressed concerns filed by Integrity Project of North Carolina Director Jay Delancy, who wanted to make sure every vote is accounted for.

Delancy wanted 18 people removed from the county's voter roll.

"They claimed they were not U.S. citizens as part of their proceedings that got them out of jury duty," Delancy said during the hearing.

As the board of elections dismissed each of the 18 challenges, Delancy stormed out in the middle of the hearing.

"The average voter should be afraid because we have a lot of people walking around North Carolina right now who are not citizens and are registered to vote. We just found a few of them,” said Delancy.

Bob Hall with Democracy North Carolina confronted Delancy outside the hearing. Hall believes Delancy should have put more research into his challenges because each challenge takes election workers countless hours to investigate and costs the tax payers money.

"Even though the burden is supposed to be on the challenger, it's real simple to take all these names and say they're not citizens," said Hall.

As part of its investigative process, the Wake County Board of Elections Director Cherie Poucher said all voters in question were contacted and asked if they correctly filled out the state's voter registration application, which requires them to identify whether they are a U.S. citizen.

"Many of them did send back their certificate of naturalization proving they were a citizen at the time they registered to vote. All of those, of course, were dismissed," said Poucher, who explained other voters admitted they were not citizens and requested to be removed from the voter roll.

Delancy feels his claims deserve more scrutiny. Poucher believes more education about voter registration guidelines could prevent future challenges.

The Board of Elections will hold another hearing next Tuesday at the Wake County Courthouse. The Voter Integrity Project is challenging the voter registration of more than 300 voters who may be dead, but are still on the voting roll.

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