by Dr. Andy Jackson
Director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, John Locke Foundation
Last spring, former North Carolina Congressman and Trump administration official Mark Meadows faced allegations that he committed voter registration fraud:
The allegation is that he registered to vote at a place he never maintained as a residence and then voted absentee by mail with that registration, committing both voter registration and election fraud.
(Shortly after, Macon County Board of Elections officials removed Meadows from the voting roles after discovering he had voted in Virginia in 2021. It is not illegal to be registered to vote in two states as long as the person does not vote in both those states.)
Now, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has announced that Meadows will not face prosecution for alleged voter registration fraud. Here is the relevant part of Stein’s announcement:
“The State Bureau of Investigation conducted an extensive investigation into the fraud allegations against Mr. and Mrs. Meadows concerning their registration and voting in the 2020 elections. After a thorough review, my office has concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges against either of them in this matter.
Key facts that led to this decision include:
Meadows was engaged in public service in Washington, DC, and therefore qualified for a residency exception pursuant to NCGS § 163-57(8).
Meadows and his wife signed a year-long lease for the Scaly Mountain residence that was provided by their landlord.
Cell phone records showed Mrs. Meadows was in and around Scaly Mountain in October of 2020.
As part of their deliberation on whether to prosecute Meadows, North Carolina Department of Justice workers took a more permissive interpretation of GS 163-57(8) than I do. While I believe it only applies to Meadow’s residency in Transylvania County prior to moving to Virginia, NCDOJ officials interpret it to mean that he could have residency anywhere in North Carolina for voting.
The irrelevant portion of Stein’s statement was longer, covering Meadow’s alleged role in the January 6, 2021 riots at the United States Capital Building.
(Cover photo of Mark Meadows by Gage Skidmore.)