DA gets suspected voter fraud

Last week the Forsyth County Board of Elections met to finalize votes from the 2018 General Election.

DA gets suspected voter fraud
November 22
00:30 2018

The Forsyth County Board of Elections voted to let the District Attorney’s office decide what to do with what seems to be two separate cases where voters tried to vote twice during the 2018 General Election.

Here’s what we know: During the official canvass at the Forsyth County Government Center on Friday, Nov. 16, it was announced that two voters, one age 18 and the other 34, tried to cast their ballot twice during the General Election earlier this month. According to Tim Tsujii, director of the Forsyth County Board of Elections, on Election Day three voters showed up to voting locations who had already submitted a ballot during the Early Voting Period.

The first of the three was submitted by a 74-year-old voter and was discounted because the ballot submitted on Election Day was filled out but not signed, which means no legal action would be taken. The other two ballots were completely filled out and signed by the voters.

When discussing the matter, board members seemed to have mixed emotions on how to handle the situation. BOE Vice Chair Susan Campbell said she felt uncomfortable taking legal action against the two voters who submitted two ballots. She said, “There is some innocence there. It could possibly be a misunderstanding. I don’t know if I want to turn this over to the DA.”

Board chair Stuart Russell thought otherwise. Russell said there might be an innocent explanation as to why the voter signed both ballots, but there might not be. He said it is up to the District Attorney to decide that.

“There’s no way for us to know the explanation. There very well may be an innocent explanation, but the only way to determine that or at least examine that is to have the DA look at it,” he said. “If the DA doesn’t at least have the opportunity to make a phone call, then they’ll always be unknown.

“… We’re not really the appropriate body to decide whether prosecution is warranted or not.”

Board member Robert Durrah Jr. placed emphasis on the fact that one of the voters was only 18 years old. He noted that it could have been that person’s first time voting. He said, “This is an 18 year old, probably their first time voting. I’m not sure if I want to send that person to the District Attorney and have them explain what they’re doing because they probably don’t know.

“… Either way that goes, that’s a problem if you get a phone call from the District Attorney’s office.”

Durrah also mentioned that if the voters weren’t identified as someone who already voted, then they missed their opportunity to fix the issue. He said, “I still think when you’re talking about an 18 year old voter who may be voting for the first time, whatever the reason is, I’m a little less hard-nosed about that.”

He continued, “… I do want us to do our jobs as Board of Elections officials and make sure that the public can trust us to oversee the voting in this county and I really think we have to do that, but I don’t know what we’re going to do about this.”

Tsujii said the last time they had this happen was during the Presidential Election in 2016. He said there were a handful of voters who voted twice and at that time the board voted to send a letter to the District Attorney’s office, but he didn’t follow up to find out what happened in those cases.

When it came time to vote on the matter, Russell, Campbell and Loughride voted to send both names to the District Attorney’s office, including a message noting that one of the voters was only 18; Durrah voted against.

At the time of publication, the District Attorney’s office had not returned calls to discuss the matter and the protocol for handling possible voter fraud. The Board of Elections will meet again on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 5 p.m. on the second floor of the Forsyth County Government Center, 201 N. Chestnut St.

For more information on the Forsyth County Board of Elections, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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