The League of Women Voters and the Buncombe County Democrat Party are outraged. The Asheville TEA Party and the Voter Integrity Project are challenging 182 names on the Buncombe County voting rolls.

The names were first pulled from a longer list of residences purportedly housing eight or more registered voters. The VIP sent letters to these people, and received about 300 back as undeliverable. Members of Asheville TEA then went door knocking to try to find the people. The registrations of those who remained at-large were then presented to the board of elections.

The board of elections held a preliminary hearing yesterday, during which it decided to advance 95 names to a full hearing. Those 95 registered voters will be notified, presumably by a mailer sent to that same “return to sender” address, informing them they or their affidavit-bearing agent must appear in person at an April 10 hearing.

The problem was that the names came from only 11 of 80 Asheville precincts, and the LWV and local Democrat leadership said the selected districts were disproportionately low-income and African-American. Not only could removing the suspect names result in underrepresentation of fraud in these districts; it would intimidate voters belonging to the “low-income and African-American communities.”

Jay DeLancy, executive director of the VIP, claims he is neither racist nor classist. He did not have any reason to suspect the list he was using was loaded with or without malicious intent. He works out of Raleigh. As it turned out, though, 127 of the 182 black voters were white, but only 103 of the low-income voters were not Democrat.

DeLancy disagrees with Election Services Director Trena Parker about whether federal law allows voters who relocate to participate in elections without changing the address on their registration for four or eight years.