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Letter: Absentee ballot request addressed to dead mother

I understand I may be one of the more than 47,000 voters in Rowan and Cabarrus counties who recently received an unsolicited mail-in ballot request for the upcoming November election. The only problem was that my letter was intended for my mother, who passed away in 2012 or more than eight years ago.

After checking with our local Board of Elections, I was informed that thousands of similar letters were received by citizens in our community. I was also told that these came from mailing lists which had been purchased many years ago by certain political organizations. Many of the recipients of the mail-in ballot requests are deceased. 

As a voting citizen, I am writing to express my serious concern over the possibility of voter fraud in the upcoming election. I also feel very strongly that every effort and every precaution should be taken to make certain that only eligible voters and legal citizens be allowed to vote in the upcoming election. What better way to ensure the legality and accuracy of the upcoming election than to eliminate the possibility of fraud and “stuffing the ballot box,” with unsolicited ballots submitted on behalf of ineligible voters. 

This may be another reason why we should require voter ID at the ballot box. Every voter should be asked to certify their eligibility with a valid driver’s license, birth certificate, veteran’s ID, passport, or other form of official identification. In this day and age of political corruption and fraud, I hope you agree that we cannot afford to gamble on the legitimacy of our upcoming election. 

— Ronnie Smith

Salisbury

Editor’s note: Receiving a ballot request is not the same as receiving a ballot. Voters must submit the request and have information verified, including that he or she is a registered and eligible voter, before he or she receives a ballot in the mail. The absentee by mail ballot must then be submitted to the Rowan County Board of Elections. Fraudulently completing a ballot request form is a felony. The N.C. State Board of Elections has a dedicated team of voter fraud investigators and conducts regular post-election audits.

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