Board of Elections meeting to discuss false voter addresses


Monday, Jan. 14, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The address problems were handled when most voters went to the polls. They had to update their information to vote, but there are still a handful that are unaccounted for.

While the problem may have sounded like voter fraud, the real problem may just be laziness.

"It sounds terrible to think that you may have people registered from vacant lots. The biggest problem that we have uncovered so far is negligence," said Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey.

Negligence is a problem that still needs fixing, according to Bailey, but it's a very different one from the crime of voter fraud.

"Any time anything happens to bring into question the integrity of the voters list, it is alarming, but we don't see it as a huge problem. There is a big difference between that and negligence," Bailey said.

Seventeen of the 23 voter addresses have been remedied.

Most people updated their information when they went to the polls this last election, but that still leaves six voters in question.

One woman is registered at 1005 Bennet Lane, but what used to be a house is now just an abandoned lot.

"There ain't nobody else here, ain't nothing left but 1008," said neighbor Tara D'Antignac.

Her family agrees it's been this way for nearly 10 years.

"A bogus address. Something that don't even exist no more," D'Antignac said.

It's cases like that the board will be discussing Monday night.

While there are only six people left in question, Bailey says that's six too many.

"We'll have to figure out what to do with them. [The board] could challenge a voter's right to remain on the list considering their address is clearly invalid," Bailey said.

Bailey says they're working with the Geographic Information System Department because they have technology to identify any vacant lots in the county.

She says they plan to cross reference that with their list of voters to update the list.

So, for now, the address problems are considered honest mistakes, not criminal voter fraud.

One member of the Board of Elections told News 12 if they find any of the people intentionally wrote down a false address, he will urge the board to pursue those specific cases criminally.

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