After President Donald Trump announced a new committee on May 11 to look into voter fraud around the country, a chain email circulated in North Carolina that claims widespread irregularities in the state’s voter rolls.
It declares: “PROOF !! North Carolina has the world’s oldest voters !”
The email goes on to say there are thousands of registered voters in North Carolina who are 110 or more years old, including one person who is a whopping 219 years old.
The implication is clear – that many dead people are still actively registered, perhaps allowing others to commit voter fraud by casting ballots in their names.
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“Perhaps it is something in the (North) Carolina water,” the email begins. “I doubt there is another state in the Union who could claim, as NC does, to have 5,376 voters 110 years old, or older. One current voter was born in 1798, making him a rather hefty 219 years old, thereby nearly doubling the age of the oldest person on earth.”
So PolitiFact North Carolina looked into the claim, which if true would indicate the potential for large amounts of voter fraud.
As it turns out, though, it’s the email that’s fraudulent. The state database does appear to show nearly 5,400 people who are more than 110 years old, but nearly all of them are, oddly enough, 117.
But they’re not actually that old; it’s just a glitch in the system caused by a computer oddity.
PolitiFact NC rated the claim False.
For more on why the email is so off the mark – and also about the real potential for some dead people to remain registered to vote in North Carolina even years after passing away – read the full fact-check here.
And for more on the types of voter fraud that actually do occur in North Carolina, and how much there is, read this News & Observer report from April.
Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran
PolitiFact North Carolina
Speaker: Chain email
Statement: Says there are thousands of registered voters over 110 years old in North Carolina, including one who is 219 years old.
Ruling: The email uses these statistics to imply there are dead people still registered to vote, creating “questionable elections” in North Carolina. That’s not true. At a minimum, 98 percent of the names on the list are due to clerical errors or the way a state database handles certain people’s information. We rate this claim False.