Further doubt is being cast on conservative activist James O'Keefe's latest undercover video after a ThinkProgress report finds that another of the film's alleged fraudulent voters is actually a U.S. citizen who is eligible to vote.
O'Keefe and his Project Veritas group have been on a mission to uncover the supposed perils of voter fraud in an effort to make a case for voter ID laws. Critics have claimed that such legislation is a hysterical reaction to an incredibly rare problem that would end up denying thousands of eligible Americans the right to vote.
In their latest offering, O'Keefe's team heads to North Carolina, where, as in earlier productions, they go undercover to suggest that non-citizens and the dead are empowered to vote because individuals don't need to present photo identification in order to receive their ballots.
ThinkProgress, which earlier reported that one of the supposed non-citizens in the video actually became a citizen decades ago, now finds that the film's second subject is also a naturalized U.S. citizen. From ThinkProgress:
In fact, [William] Romero’s family told ThinkProgress he became a naturalized citizen in early 2011.
What’s more, Romero’s family told ThinkProgress that they had began receiving harassing telephone calls two weeks before the incident in the video asking if Romero was a citizen. They confirmed to the caller -- it’s unclear whether they were speaking with O’Keefe himself or another individual -- that Romero is indeed a citizen. Nevertheless, O’Keefe proceeded to ambush the family at their home and publish this video claiming he’s not a citizen.
Beyond these issues, the supposed proof of a "dead voter" ploy was already been debunked earlier this week. It turned out that O'Keefe's video had been edited to remove an interaction between a poll worker and Veritas "investigator" indicating that Michael Bolton -- the deceased voter in question -- had been survived by his son, Michael Bolton, Jr. In the raw footage, the election official asks if the man asking for the deceased Bolton's ballot is Michael Bolton, Jr., who is registered at the same address.
Of course, none of this is to say that the electoral system in North Carolina is flawless. As the Tar Heel State's WRAL reports:
In 2011, the North Carolina State Board of Elections identified 12 non-citizens who had improperly voted in a North Carolina election.
That's 12 out of 6.3 million registered voters.
WRAL also reports that dead voters cast votes all the time, primarily when somebody casts a mail-in or in-person absentee ballot and then dies before Election Day.