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Video shows possible flaws in NC voting system

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

James O'Keefe, the man behind the video that led to the downfall of ACORN a few years ago, has put out another video dealing with voter fraud in North Carolina.

The video purported to show how easy it is to commit voter fraud in North Carolina. Some of O'Keefe's operatives, who were sometimes dressed in lederhosen and spoke in thick accents, tried to vote in Raleigh using other people's names. One was the name of a dead man. The other was allegedly a non-citizen.  

The video showed the operatives leaving without signing the paperwork, which would have been voter fraud.

Click here to see the O'Keefe video in its entirety.

"You can even speak in Spanish and say you have a Colombian passport while wearing Lederhosen and you can still be almost begged to vote in the name of somebody else," said O'Keefe. "That's problematic."

"The bulk of the video shows that we do have some gaping holes in verifying who is voting when they head to the polls," said Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation.

Kokai said the video highlights the need for voter reform.

"I think the people who have been pushing for voter ID in North Carolina have said just the same thing," said Kokai. "It's too easy to cast a ballot without having to show that you are who you say you are."

Last year, Republicans in the legislature passed a voter ID bill that would have required voters to show picture identification at the polls.  It passed, but Gov. Perdue vetoed it on the concern that it would have stifled voting among older voters and students.  

Bob Phillips, with the non-partisan group Common Cause, was a critic of the voter ID bill. After watching O'Keefe's video, Phillips remains unconvinced that voter ID was the right way to go.

"Who's doing that, that's what I would challenge them," said Phillips. "They are showing on a video that maybe it could be done, but where is there evidence that anyone is."

The video has already caught the attention of the State Board of Elections. They are already investigating allegations made in the video, including double voting, non-citizen voting, and dead people voting. They are also investigating potential felonies involved in creating the video -- video taping in a polling place and swearing to a false identity in a polling place.

"We're very familiar with the statutes. It's not a felony to film inside a polling location. It's a felony to film other voters and we were very careful about not doing that," said O'Keefe.

Already, there has been one report that O'Keefe got at least part of the video wrong. The liberal blog "Think Progress" reported one of the non-citizens in the video was actually a U.S. citizen residing in Durham.

"My reporting is based on the public data of North Carolina," said O'Keefe. "So, in the event that he is a citizen, he must have perjured himself because our data is based on what the individual in Durham County sent us."

Although the video may be controversial, it could bolster efforts require voters to show a picture ID at the polls.

"My intent is to expose weaknesses in a system, to educate people about what's going on because the media won't do it," said O'Keefe.

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