LUMBERTON — Robeson County elections officials want registered voters to be aware of a possible registration scam.
People have reported to the Robeson County Board of Elections that they have been approached by someone claiming to be an Elections Board employee who tells them they need to fill out a registration form because their registration is about to expire, said G.L. Pridgen, Elections Board director. These reports have been coming in for at least one week.
“It may have been a little longer than that,” he said. “It may have been in the past two weeks.”
Patrick Sutton, 46, of Lumberton, was the target of someone claiming to be an Elections Board employee.
Someone came to his house about 7 p.m. Monday and told him his voter registration had expired, Sutton said on Tuesday. Sutton was told he needed to fill out a voter registration form.
“It looked just like the form they have down there (at the Elections Board),” said Sutton, who has been a registered voter since he was 18.
The man even gave names of other people who live on his street, Sutton said.
Sutton asked for the man for identification and the man refused. The man then hurried to his car and drove away, Sutton said.
“I went to the Board of Elections this morning and filled out a complaint, Sutton said.
Employees at the elections office said other people had told them similar stories, he said.
Sutton’s incident report has been forwarded to the state Elections Board, Pridgen said. Now it’s up to them.
“That’s all we can do because we aren’t investigators,” Pridgen said.
He doesn’t know if what Sutton experienced is a scam, Pridgen said. There are legitimate voter registration drives being conducted. The county Elections Board received more than 120 registration forms on Tuesday.
But, someone participating in a legitimate voter registration drive cannot say he or she works for the Board of Elections, he said. That makes the incident suspicious, especially when the person asking for the information gets in his or her vehicle and drives away in a hurry.
“The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement received a complaint about the situation you described, and the information has been forwarded to our Investigations Division to determine the appropriate course of action,” Patrick Gannon, a state Elections Board spokesman, wrote in response to an emailed information request.
Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]