Voter Fraud? Show me the proof

Today, I sent this letter to the Vice Chairman of the Wake County Republican Party. In an earlier attempt to recruit poll observers, the Wake County GOP claimed that Democrats were engaged in “daily” voter fraud, including registering the dead and giving false registration information.

Because I believe allegations of voter fraud should be taken seriously and not made lightly, I invited Vice Chairman Hellwig to send me the proof of such fraud, and I would bring all the resources of my office to bear in rooting it out before the election.

Here’s the letter:


The text reads:

Dear Vice Chairman Hellwig:

I read, with interest, your letter requesting that people register to be GOP poll observers for the upcoming 2016 General Election. As a Wake County elected official, I certainly support the presence of statutorily-allowed election observers at polling stations to ensure that voters have the opportunity to cast legal votes for the candidates of their choice. But I was alarmed by some of the accusations in your letter. Your statements that “nearly every day we see some new example of voter fraud or [Democrats’] attempt to subvert the will of the people” and “registering dead people or falsifying voter information” are certainly serious accusations. Further, I am concerned that a precinct observer will be unable adequately to combat such obvious crimes on Election Day.

Therefore, as a Wake County elected official with budgetary responsibility for the Board of Elections, I would like to assist in rooting out these purported frauds now, before the election season officially begins. After all, I am sure you will agree that neither of us wants to create any unnecessary disturbances at the polling places, which might actually prevent valid votes from being cast and counted.

However, time is running short. So let’s work quickly. By next Friday, October 14, please provide me with evidence of daily examples of voter fraud in Wake County and each instance of the intentional registration of dead people or falsified voter information. Feel free to call me to discuss the best way to deliver this information, as from the tone of your letter, it sounds quite voluminous. Together, we should be able to draw the attention of the Board of Elections to these issues and root out such fraud before the election, rather than relying on challenging voters in an ad hoc fashion on Election Day.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. The Wake County Board of Commissioners is dedicated to providing financial support for a fair and democratic elections process in Wake County. We value our citizens’ civic engagement and their history of turning out in heavy numbers in national elections. This year should be no different, and I am certain that both major political parties share the belief that every voter should have their vote counted without interference or subterfuge. I must take the allegations in your letter seriously, because I simply cannot believe that an official of one of our two major parties would intentionally call for interference with the right to vote.

I look forward to receiving the evidence of any of the frauds mentioned in your letter, so that we can work together to ensure a fair election.


John D. Burns
Wake County Commissioner
District 7

Such accusations undermine voters’ faith in democracy and in our institutions. They are dangerous. At a time when the confidence of the American public in our government and democratic process is being shaken every day, it is irresponsible to use such accusations for political gain.

If they have the proof, then I am sure the Wake GOP will provide me with the evidence. If they do not, then the Wake GOP owes voters an apology.


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