Dome: Voter-fraud watchdogs say Wake dead still on voter list

FROM STAFF REPORTSJuly 30, 2012 

A Raleigh-based group out to prove there’s a potential for widespread voter fraud has presented the Wake County Board of Elections with what it says is a list of 386 dead people who are still listed as eligible to vote in the county.

The Voter Integrity Project says it obtained the death records compiled by the state Department of Health and Human Services and compared it to Wake County voter registrations.

Wake’s deputy elections director, Gary Sims, said there is a time gap between the time DHHS gives its death database to the state Board of Elections, which then helps the county boards identify voters whose names should be removed.

Sims said the Wake board would go over this list, as it would do with any such information brought to its attention, and attempt to match every name with a date of birth from its records.

The Voter Integrity Project said its research director gathered the names of deceased registered voters while working on tea party-supported congressional candidate Bill Randall’s campaign in 2010, and brought it to the board’s attention then. Seventy-four of those names were still on the voter rolls, the group says.

Earlier this month, the organization sued to have 528 Wake County residents it claims are not U.S. citizens removed from the voter registration. The elections board had investigated the complaint and found that 510 of the voters were citizens and eligible to vote. It scheduled a hearing for the 18 others.

The Voter Integrity Project describes itself as a nonpartisan group. It supports requiring photo identification to vote, a controversy that finds Republicans supporting the idea and Democrats opposing it.

Earlier last week, the group asked Alamance County to remove 123 voters and Halifax County to remove 77 voters it says have died.

CEO of mental health office fired

The CEO of a local mental health office in western North Carolina was fired Friday, according to sources and a news report.

Arthur Carder Jr. was fired from his post at Western Highlands Network. Western Highlands was the first local mental health office to become a managed care organization under a law passed last year.

Western Highlands reported a $3 million deficit in its first six months of operation as a managed care agency. A consultant’s report last week pointed out many procedures that needed fixing and recommended close monitoring by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

All local mental health offices will become managed care organizations by January.

Burr bill on terrorist group passes

Republican Sen. Richard Burr praises the final passage of his bill declaring the designation of the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization.

The Haqqanis have been held responsible for a number of high profile attacks on Afghanistan, including a Sept. 10, 2011, truck bomb that injured 77 U.S. Troops, a Sept. 13, 2011, attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul in which nine people were killed, and a June attack on a civilian hotel in Afghanistan that left 20 people dead.

“The Haqqanis are violent, ruthless, indiscriminate in their killing, and worst of all, they are well organized and well trained,” Burr said in a statement Friday. “This is a group who routinely targets civilians and uses murder as an intimidation tactic against the Afghan people.’’

By designating a group as a terrorist organization, the United States can more actively pursue them and limit their financial, property and travel interests.

N.C. folks among Most Beautiful

Three North Carolinians made a list of the most beautiful people in Washington.

Alyssa Dack, 24, a Duke graduate who serves as Rep. Mike McIntyre’s outreach coordinator, was named No. 7 on The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful People list. Andrew Simpson, 24, of Chapel Hill has worked as a staff assistant for McIntyre and currently is a field organizer for the N.C. Democratic Party. And then there is Ryan Mills, 23, of New Bern, who the authors said could easily pass as a Kennedy.

“With his brown hair, piercing blue eyes and golden tan, he’s a dead-ringer for Bobby Kennedy,” reporter Debbie Siegelbaum noted.

Go here to see the full list: http://bit.ly/LMTbNa.

Hundreds of staffers, lobbyists and politicians were nominated for the closely watched list that is the source of endless water cooler talk around Washington.

Dack, a native of Asheville, studied public policy, journalism and English at Duke University. The newspaper cited Dack’s “rebellious spirit.” She grew up surrounded by Republicans but emerged as a Democrat.

Simpson skateboards to work and likes to work out, The Hill reported. The son of a North Carolina pastor, Simpson said he tries to see both sides of political issues. But he leans left, growing up in church and hearing his father talk about caring for the poor.

Mills studied political science at East Carolina University and also interned for the Charles Koch Institute and raised money for fellow Most Beautiful winner, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachman of Minnesota. He now works at a government affairs firm as a development associate. The young Republican has heard the Kennedy comparisons before, but he’s quick to point out that he’s not a fan of their policies.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis, Lynn Bonner and Franco Ordoòez

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