State Politics

NC man convicted for voting twice in March 2016 primary

Voters are offered a sticker as they cast their ballots as hundreds came out on the first day of early voting at the Hope Mills Recreation Center in Hope Mills, NC on Oct. 20, 2016.
Voters are offered a sticker as they cast their ballots as hundreds came out on the first day of early voting at the Hope Mills Recreation Center in Hope Mills, NC on Oct. 20, 2016. cseward@newsobserver.com

A Haywood County man has been sentenced to probation and community service for voting twice in the March 2016 primary election.

Dewey George Gidcumb Jr., 52, was convicted on the felony voter fraud charge on Thursday. A Haywood County Superior Court judge sentenced him to a suspended prison sentence of five to 15 months, 12 months of supervised probation, 24 hours of community service and a $100 fine, plus court costs.

Haywood election officials discovered that Gidcumb had cast a ballot in the Republican primary during the early voting period and then voted again on the day of the primary. The State Board of Elections investigated the case and sent its findings to the district attorney’s office in Haywood, which is west of Asheville.

“One person, one vote,” District Attorney Ashley Welch said in a news release Friday. “That’s what this case is about. Regardless of political views or party affiliations, the very foundations of our democracy depend on fair voting practices.”

Multiple claims of voter fraud were filed in the weeks after the November elections, but the State Board of Elections declined to throw out any votes, citing concerns about the protocol used to file the complaints. In some cases, voters were falsely accused of voting twice or voting while serving an active felony sentence.

The board did, however, refer findings about possible voter fraud involving absentee ballots in Bladen County to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors have not charged anyone with a crime.

This week, four voters in Guilford County filed a defamation suit against a man who accused them of voter fraud after the November elections.

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