Goad with the list of 323 out of 1300 voters that he alleges have anomalies.
Voters better bring ID’s to the polls on November 4. A bit of controversy is brewing at Botetourt precincts. “We will challenge voters at the poll,” says Danny Goad of Cloverdale, who is the local vice chairman of the Republican Party in the county. He has been concerned about the voter fraud news across the US. While he contemplated the national news, he decided on October 20 to go the Botetourt County Registrar’s Office and as a citizen, check for himself to make sure all is well. “I have done what I have done because it is incumbent of a citizen to make sure things are right.”
Goad thought it would be an easy task and expected to find all was well in Botetourt County. What he discovered were 323 out of 1300 voters, about 25 percent that he perused on the voter rolls, were listed at addresses with multiple residents having different last names. From there he narrowed the list down to 12 people who had the same birth date but either a different address or two different state assigned ID numbers. Six of those were duplicates by address and birth date but had different ID numbers.
He and local party chairman Doug Gimbert expressed their concerns to Phyllis Booze the County’s voter registrar. She explained to them and The Botetourt View that duplicates are supposed to be purged every year but the National Change of Address, (NCOA) has not been performed in the past two years by the state. The re-sale of a home for instance would list residents at the same address with numerous different names if the rolls had not been purged recently. “It would not indicate they can vote in two different places,” she said.
Goad was not satisfied however, and contacted both the Sheriff’s Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. Commonwealth’s Attorney Joel Branscom stated in published reports that he believes all is well in Botetourt and he does not think anyone has been registered under false pretenses, but he is concerned about disenfranchisement or voter suppression. He stated he would keep an eye on the election process.
On Oct. 29, Goad presented to The Botetourt View the list of names he gathered in his perusal of the voter rolls that he deemed problematic. Many of the addresses on his list were recognized as apartments in the Cloverdale area by The Botetourt View. Registrar Booze is on the list of 323 due to personal changes at her home. Others were recognized as youthful voters who have graduated in the past few years from both Lord Botetourt and James River High School. For example, a former star athlete at JRHS is on the list of 323 because he is located at the same address as his mother and they have different last names. Of the 12 duplicates, the Botetourt View noticed the name of one young man who played soccer at Lord Botetourt and is also a recent graduate. On the list of 12, another is former athlete and the son of a local high school coach as well. That young man is also on the list of 6 exact duplicates with exactly the same local address and birth date, but different years of voter registration—2005 and 2008 and different state ID numbers. He is a graduate of James River High School and is a college student. Goad wants explanations on all of those on the list.
Booze said that these situations will be corrected at the polls. She had been in contact with electoral board members including John Rader and Rob Hagan. So far she said in her study of the voter rolls no duplicate social security numbers have been found. She said they are confident the VERIS (Virginia Election and Registration System) will work on Election Day and kick out the duplicate addresses—no one will get to vote twice. If necessary the duplicates will fill out a new registration form at the poll and the poll workers will immediately call the Registrar’s Office.
Danny Goad is not satisfied. He told The Botetourt View, “If multiplied out to the over 22,000 registered voters in the county, those 12 would come up to 246 people and if 25 percent of those turned out to be wrong then that could be 90 votes and across the state it could be 10,000 votes—enough to change an election.”
He paused for a moment and said, “We are going to keep looking through the voter rolls. On Election Day we will have poll watchers and we will challenge voters. They will have to produce ID to prove they are occupants of the residence listed.” He continued, “It is very unfortunate. Botetourt should be in good shape. I am concerned that the person in charge, the voter registrar, doesn’t seem to keep accurate records. Those who have a position of responsibility have to do their job effectively and efficiently.”