RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Amid a push to pass a photo ID requirement for North Carolina elections, the state’s lieutenant governor appears in a video that offers instructions on how to commit voter fraud in the state.
The video, posted on Facebook, features Lt. Gov. Dan Forest telling how a group could collect the identifying information of infrequent voters before Election Day and then impersonate those voters at the polls, which is a crime under state law.
Forest says in the video, titled Voter Fraud 101, “Committing voter fraud is easy in our state. Just for fun, here’s one way an organized group could commit voter fraud in North Carolina.”
The video was paid for by the North Carolina Republican Council of State Committee, a political action committee chaired by Forest and largely funded by Greg Lindberg, a major political donor currently under federal investigation, according to WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
Asked why the video was produced, Hal Weatherman, Forest’s chief of staff, didn’t provide an explanation, saying only in an email, “The voter fraud outlined in the video would not be possible if NC had photo voter ID.”
An amendment requiring a voter photo ID is on North Carolina’s November ballot. Forest has been a strong proponent of requiring voters to show a photo identification at the polls.
An audit of the 2016 election conducted last year by the state elections board found only two cases of voter impersonation out of millions of votes cast. In both cases, the voters cast absentee ballots on behalf of a family member. No charges were filed.
Kareem Crayton, interim executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said the plan Forest outlines is unworkable. Crayton’s group fought the state’s previous voter ID law.
“The scheme that he dreamt up in that clip is not something actually that is workable,” Crayton said.
“That you’re an elected official and that you make an argument that is intended to undermine the election system that actually got you in office, let alone could throw you and a bunch of other people in jail for felony convictions, is unprecedented — and, to me, sad,” Crayton said.
Dallas Woodhouse, state GOP director, said the video is part of his party’s educational outreach supporting the photo ID amendment.
“This is simply laying out for the public what is already known by those inclined to cheat,” Woodhouse said.