When she was a temporary elections worker in Granville County, Joy Yvette Wilkerson, 41, of Henderson, North Carolina, is accused of illegally accessing voter registration records to help restore the voting privileges of 250 felons, and now she may become one herself.
Wilkerson was arrested this week and is facing multiple counts of fraudulently altering voter registrations, which is a felony charge.
According to the Granville County Sheriff’s Department, the county’s Board of Elections found out about Wilkerson’s misdeed last June and contacted police. Wilkerson allegedly “accessed the county’s voter registration database and restored – or tried to restore – active voting status to 250 convicted felons who had been removed from voter rolls while they served their sentence.”
Convicted felons who are serving time in prison or on probation are banned from voting in North Carolina; however, those rights are restored after they’ve completed their sentence.
In 2015, Wilkerson had been hired through a staffing agency on a temporary basis to help Granville County get ready for the presidential election, according to a spokesman for the State Board of Elections. As soon as the county’s election director discovered that Wilkerson was restoring the voting rights of felons, in June 2016, the department “quickly notified the State Board of Elections, which investigated the matter and recently sent a full report about the case to the district attorney’s office for Granville County for possible prosecution.”
“The Granville County Board of Elections and State Board of Elections office worked together to ensure that improper changes made by the worker were corrected in the voter registration database before the general election,” said State Board of Elections spokesman Patrick Gannon on Wednesday.
Wilkerson was released from the Granville County jail on a $14,000 bond and is due to appear in court on April 17.
Wilkerson’s actions are proof that voter fraud is a real problem.
“Incidents like these prove that attempts to encourage illegal voting, violate the law, and manipulate our voting process do exist and must be countered,” said state Republican party chairman Robin Hayes.
In fact, this incident wasn’t the only election irregularity that took place in Granville County last year. It was reported that poll workers accidentally left an early voting site — filled with equipment and ballots — unlocked overnight.
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