Issues rise at east Charlotte polling place

An aggravating experience for a voter in the Queen City this morning when he initially wasn't able to vote.

Charlotte, N.C. -- Christopher McGee walked up to St. John's Baptist Church Tuesday morning ready to vote. As soon as he got inside, workers told him he had already voted.

"I feel terrible it feels like something ripped it out of me, a right, a freedom," McGee said. "This is a country of freedom and I feel like my freedom has been taken away."

Poll station workers and voters went about their business at St. John's Baptist Church in East Charlotte Saturday afternoon, but at 8:50 a.m., that wasn't the case for McGee when he got to the front of the line.

"He's like, well, you already cast your ballot," McGee said. "And I said there's no way I could've cast my ballot already, why would I be here this early in the morning?"

McGee's name wasn't on the list because his vote had already been counted somewhere else in the county. 

"I'm a Veteran. I served this country for four years," McGee said. "And I want to know who took my right to vote away."

The polling workers told him to fill out a provisional ballot. The county Board of Elections says the procedure gives them ten days to investigate the issue, and then confirm that the person's vote is legitimate. 

"It might not count today, it might count a week from now," McGee said. "What's the point of having the election if my vote won't count until a week from now? It'll be over by then."

So who voted under McGee's name? Well, it was another Christopher McGee. In fact, the Board of Elections says there are six of them registered here in Mecklenburg County. They told us one of them voting off West Boulevard was given this McGee's ballot by a polling worker there by mistake.

"It's negligence," McGee said. "If the person would've asked for his address that would've solved everything and he would've said no that's not my address. He would've got his real ballot and I would've gotten my ballot today."

The Board of Elections says this is why it's so important to look at your ballot and verify that all of your information is correct before voting. So it's not voter fraud, just an honest mistake for a polling worker to make.

"Thankfully they got to the bottom of who cast that vote under my name and thankfully it wasn't a rigged ballot system, so I'm relieved of that," McGee said.  "But I'm also frustrated that it came down to a human error."

The Board of Elections says this has happened about a dozen times so far in the county, but once each of those provisional ballots are straightened out, each of those vote should count.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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