Election Fraud Cases
Dewey Gidcumb, of Haywood County, was found guilty of voting twice in the 2016 Republican Primary. Gidcumb first cast a ballot in the early voting period, then voted a second time on Election Day. He received a five-to-15-month suspended prison sentence, one year of supervised probation, and 24 hours of community service. He was also fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs.
Edward Charles Green, of Southern Pines, was convicted for voting in the 2016 election despite being a felon and therefore ineligible. Green's prior conviction came in 2014, when he was convicted of promoting the prostitution of a mentally disabled minor. For his voter fraud offense, Green was sentenced to serve a minimum of four months in jail and six months of supervised probation, which will run concurrently with a probation sentence from a prior offense.
Dalton Shane Smith, of Cameron, was convicted for voting in the 2016 election despite being a felon and therefore ineligible. In 2016, Smith was convicted of felony breaking and entering. He was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment, which includes time for unrelated criminal charges.
Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor voter fraud charge. Cannon admitted that he cast an absentee ballot in the 2014 midterm elections, despite the fact that he had been convicted on felony corruption charges stemming from his acceptancy of $50,000 in bribes from FBI undercover agents. The conviction cost Cannon his right to vote. The plea deal in the voter fraud case saw one day tacked on to his already existing 44-month prison sentence.
Following a contested election because of voter irregularities for the Precinct 7 City Council seat in the town of Lumberton, the State Board of Elections ordered new election. In the initial election for the City Council seat, incumbent Leon Maynor held a one-vote lead over challenger Laura Sampson after several recounts. The second election also had problems, with Maynor successfully challenging the residency of 20 voters. Ultimately, roughly half of the 850 provisional ballots cast were thrown out for various reasons, and in the final tally Maynor retained his seat by a 20-vote margin.
For more than a year, the town of Pembroke had no mayor. Challenges stemming from voting irregularities and possible fraud continue long after a disputed November 2015 election and a March 2016 re-do. In the 2015 election, former town councilman Allen Dial won the mayoral post, but following residency challenges by runner-up Greg Cummings, the State Board of Elections ordered a new election be held. Cummings prevailed in that election, but ongoing challenges prevented him from assuming office. In August, four ballots were thrown out for being improperly cast, and Cummings is still ahead in the vote tally. Pembroke's recent electoral history is colorful to say the least, having had to re-do an election in 2014 as well.
Pasco Parker, a 63-year-old Tennessee resident, admitted to voting in three states during the 2012 federal election. He mailed an absentee ballot to both Florida and North Carolina, and he voted in person in Tennessee. Upon pleading guilty to felony voting fraud and felony voter registration, Parker was sentenced to between six and 17 months of jail time, and was ordered to complete 48 hours of community service. The sentence was later suspended in favor of 24 months of supervised probation, and $940 in fees, fines, and court costs. This case was brought to the attention of election officials by a North Carolina volunteer voting watchdog group, The Voting Integrity Project.
Samuel Walter Sylvester IV pleaded guilty in Cumberland County to voting as a convicted felon. Sylvester was on probation in Wake County following his conviction for felony speeding to avoid arrest. In November, 2014, Sylvester illegally voted in violation of North Carolina law, which bars convicted felons from voting until their rights are restored. Sylvester was sentenced to six months' probation and ordered to complete 48 hours of community service.
When her husband passed away, Verna Roehm decided to honor his last request--to vote for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. Months after his death, Mrs. Roehm filled out and submitted an absentee ballot in her husband's name. The illegal vote was caught after the election during an audit by election officials; when confronted about the irregularity, Mrs. Roehm admitted to casting the vote. Recognizing the unusual circumstances of the case, the judge convicted Roehm of a misdemeanor rather than a felony. She received no jail time.
At least 30 fraudulent votes were cast in the November 2013 elections, prompting the town to re-do the election. As of April 2014, an ongoing investigation into fraudulent activity has revealed votes cast by non-residents and the use of improper ID to verify residency for the election.
Horatio Johnson was charged with felony election fraud for voting in the November 2008 election despite having pleaded guilty in August of that year to a felony drug charge. Prosecutors allowed Johnson to plead guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor obstruction of justice for his ineligible voting. He was given a 120 days' suspended sentence and unsupervised probation. Johnson's attorney argued that his client's case was an example of why North Carolina needed voter ID laws, since without them, "[a]nyone can vote."
Anita and Valerie Moore, Wayne Shatley, Carlos Hood, and Ross Banner paid people $10 to induce them to register to vote and $25 to induce them to vote for incumbent Caldwell County Sheriff Gary Clark or a straight party ticket for the 2002 election. The Moore sisters pleaded guilty and testified against the others, who were subsequently convicted. A judge sentenced Shatley to the maximum applicable sentence of 33 months in prison due to the "extensive disruption of a government service" that Shatley and his accomplices caused.
Joshua Workman, a Canadian citizen who was one of the youngest delegates to the 2000 Republican National Convention, was charged by the Department of Justice with casting ineligible votes during the 2000 and 2002 primary and general elections in Avery County. He made false statements claiming U.S. citizenship in order to vote. As part of a plea agreement, Workman pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge of providing false information to election officials and subsequently returned to Canada.
Project Westvote was a massive investigation by the FBI into endemic vote-buying operations in western North Carolina. The operation netted 41 convictions in counties throughout the western part of the state.
The Cleveland County Board of Elections determined that Robert Dean Hudson illegally voted despite being a convicted felon whose voting rights had not been restored. According to the Board, Hudson cast a ballot on October 20th, during North Carolina's early voting period. His ballot was ordered removed by the Board, and Hudson was referred for possible prosecution.