Aug 13, 2022
The State Board of Elections wishes to set the record straight after a guest on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News this week spread false information about North Carolina elections. The State Board and some county boards of elections have received inquiries about this since the segment aired on Wednesday.
The guest, Russell Vought, of the Center for Renewing America, told the host that he had documents revealing “there is systemic voter fraud being done in North Carolina at the State Board of Election level and the DMV, to incentivize illegal immigrants voting in the election, which they’re not supposed to do.” He referred to this March 2021 letter from then-Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina G. Norman Acker III.
Vought did not mention that it was the State Board of Elections’ own audit, conducted in 2017, that prompted the investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office. He also did not mention the State Board of Elections’ response to that letter, sent to Acker three days later. In that letter, State Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell wrote that a temporary issue with pre-population of the citizenship question on voter registration forms offered at Division of Motor Vehicles’ offices was resolved about five years earlier and affected a small number of registrants. She also explained that the U.S. Attorney’s office had failed to provide any documentation of individuals that it claimed were non-citizens, which meant that the State Board could not remove these voters from the rolls.
Vought’s on-air statements would lead any viewer to believe the issue is ongoing, which it is not. This issue was corrected six years ago. He also suggested that this issue was intentional, which is categorically false.
“It is frustrating and disheartening to all of us who work so hard to conduct accessible, secure, and fair elections that anyone can go on a popular show and spread false information about elections to the American people, without any opportunity for rebuttal or fact-checking,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to respond to most of the mis- and disinformation about elections. We are using this case as an example, as we will with egregious cases in the future. We hope voters will reach out to election officials for accurate and complete information.”
Vought said he received the documents from a sister organization, the American Accountability Foundation. The State Board provided the documents to AAF through a public records request. Also included in the documents sent to AAF was the State Board’s response letter, which Vought did not mention on the show. Again, that response letter disproves Mr. Vought’s claims.
Neither Vought nor Fox News have reached out to the State Board for facts or clarification about this issue.