OpEd: By Laurie Zapp
As American citizens, one of our most sacred rights is our right to vote. Regardless of which party you vote for, we expect elections to be fair and accessible, in accordance with the law. Moreover, any attempt to defraud the elections or the electoral process must be thwarted prior to Election Day.
Recently, Tracy Beanz from UncoverDC published an article entitled “Election Lawsuit: Plaintiffs say they are afraid to vote while posting activism on social media.” Like Tracy, I also live in South Carolina and am very interested in this Election lawsuit. My interest in this lawsuit is a result of conducting a two-year experiment. After the 2018 General Election, I surprisingly discovered that I was still listed as an active registered voter in Ohio. I had moved from Ohio to South Carolina six years earlier! I also discovered that my father, who passed away in 2017, was still listed as an active registered voter in Florida (a year after his death).
Armed with this information, I decided to conduct an experiment. I compiled a spreadsheet of deceased individuals that I found from online obituaries. My goal was simple. I was interested in looking at deceased individuals from my county and reconciling those with the registered voter logs. After doing this for over a year, I was able to find 67 deceased active registered voters (in my county) that were never removed from the active registered voter database.
Soon, the word got out about my findings with the deceased voters. A group of volunteers began combing through online obituaries to see how many deceased active registered voters we could find in the state of South Carolina. To date, we have discovered 650+ deceased active registered voters in only 6 of the 46 South Carolina counties.
Armed with my findings, I decided to reach out to the South Carolina Elections Commission via phone. I spoke with Barbara. Barbara, who works in Columbia, SC, states that the process to remove deceased active registered voters occurs once a month. A list of names is sent to Columbia compiled from death certificates from around the state. Barbara stated that active registered voter logs are looked at if a voter has not voted in 2 consecutive General Elections. Barbara went on to say that voters that have not voted in 2 consecutive General Elections are then mailed a letter/postcard in the mail. (If a voter is deceased or no longer lives at the address, I question how this is effective) I then informed Barbara of my findings, asking her why I have found multiple deceased active registered voters, dating back as far as 2012, 2013, 2014. Barbara became defensive. She stated that a family member of a deceased individual could have the deceased removed from the active registered status. I also asked Barbara if she knew if the current system being used in South Carolina to remove deceased active registered voters was put in place by the South Carolina Elections Commission or by our state Representatives. Barbara did not know the answer to this question.
There are some problems with the current process for reconciling the voter logs. First, the problem occurs when people move. Let’s say Bob and Sue grew up in South Carolina. They got married, raised their children, and worked in South Carolina. Sue passes away. After Sue’s death, Bob decides to move to Florida to be closer to his son and grandchildren. When Bob decided to move to Florida, he went to the post office and filled out an “I’m moving postcard.” After Bob moved to Florida, he went to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and acquired his new Florida driver’s license, at which time he surrendered his South Carolina license and he checks the box to register as a Florida voter. Many of us are wrongly assuming that the Board of Elections (BOE) and the DMV are communicating with each other regarding cleaning up the voter logs, especially those that have moved out of state. There seems to be absolutely no communication between the DMV and BOE nationwide.
Now, back to our example of Bob. Let’s assume Bob passes away in Florida. He was never removed from the active registered voter database in South Carolina (when he moved) and now the Florida BOE has no reason to send a copy of his death certificate to South Carolina, to alert them that he needs to be removed from the voter log (Remember, according to South Carolina BOE it could take 2 General Election periods to remove these voters from the logs). Furthermore, none of Bob’s immediate family members have any idea that he was still listed as an active registered voter in South Carolina.
When I am out registering voters, I talk to them about this. Recently, I helped a man discover that he too was still an active registered voter in Florida after he moved to South Carolina 3 years ago. Today, I spoke to a neighbor that moved to North Carolina 2 years ago. With his permission, I looked him up on the scvotes.gov website and discovered he is still an active registered voter in South Carolina. He moved out of the state 2 years ago.
As I stated above, many of us are interested in the South Carolina lawsuits and any changes to our November election. Knowing that I have a list of 650+ deceased active registered voters in my possession, the accessibility of a family member to obtain a mail-in ballot for a deceased family member is extremely easy. Why are the League of Women Voters, South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, and the plaintiffs in the lawsuits really pushing to change our election laws? Would they be troubled to know what the volunteers from Engage The Right have discovered? Why is the South Carolina Election Commission not reaching out to want to have these deceased active registered voters removed immediately, to ensure all South Carolinians that our November election will be void of fraud? Why is there not a place on the scvotes.gov website for former South Carolina residents to find information about being removed from the active registered voter logs? How can activists who are consumed in politics on a daily basis not be aware that, according to the SC BOE, it is common knowledge that one must reach out to the state board of elections to be removed as an active registered voter after they move? Why is the mainstream media not telling all citizens to make sure they are not registered as an active registered voter in more than one state, especially with this leftist push to mail out ballots to every active registered voter in a given state?
We are less than 90 days from the biggest election of our lifetime and instead of calming fears that there could be election fraud in November, the legacy media pushes a narrative that fraud does not exist. My discoveries reveal that the potential for fraud is astronomical.
We are asking everyone to be proactive. Please visit https://www.engagetheright.com/news-events/stop-voter-fraud and you will see links to all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Click on the state you no longer live in. Check your voter registration status. If you find you are still listed as an active registered voter in a state you no longer reside, please take the necessary steps and reach out to the state board of elections to be removed from the voter logs. Also, please check on any deceased loved ones to ensure that they are not listed as active registered voters.
If we share this important information, together we can stop any attempts of individuals wishing to commit voter fraud in November.
Laurie Zapp is the founder of Engage the Right, a conservative 501(c)4, grassroots movement of concerned Americans