Union County man votes twice after early vote isn’t recorded in system

Union County man says he voted twice

UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Voting confusion in Union County on Election Day resulted in one Union County man voting twice.

Richard Becht went to an early voting site in Wingate but when he visited the North Carolina State Board of Elections webpage to find a record of his vote there wasn’t one.

After trying to find out if his vote was counted Becht says a poll worker advised that he should vote again because they didn’t have a record of his previous vote.

WBTV has not received an official explanation of how Becht was able to vote twice and has not been given any information about whether this issue has happened with other voters.

Becht says when he found out about the NCSBE voter search tool he though it would be a good way to make sure his vote was counted.

"When I went on there and I typed in my name and all of the information it needed, it came up with nothing, Becht said.

WBTV searched Becht’s name and confirmed there was no record early on Election Day if his vote.

On Election Day morning Becht and his wife called the Union County Board of Elections. Becht says an election worker told him they’d look into his early vote but after hearing nothing his wife went to vote. She says a poll worker told her they had no history of her husband voting and told him to come down and vote again.

Becht says he cast two regular ballots over just four days. Becht told WBTV that the precinct worker did not hand him a provisional ballot or stop him from voting a second time.

“They just gave me a regular ballot and I signed my piece of paper and cast my ballot and that was it,” Becht said.

A Union County Board of Elections worker confirmed to WBTV that Becht voted twice and that they will challenge his early vote result so it wouldn’t count. Although it’s not clear if his vote was challenged in time. A NCSBE spokesperson told WBTV that if the challenge was made after 5 pm it might not be official and Becht would effectively have voted twice unless there is an official election protest.

Becht says he never wanted to have two votes and is worried that this could mean there are bigger problems.

“As long as a vote is going through that’s what’s really important,” Becht said.

“But it’s definitely a flaw in the system because it shouldn’t have allowed me to do it in the first place so I don’t know what they need to do to fix it.”

A spokesperson for the NCSBE says that more voters have checked on the status of their ballot this year than ever before.

“The process works, the system works, but occasionally there are clerical or administrative errors,” NCSBE spokesperson Patrick Gannon said.

“It’s unfortunate that appears to have happened with this voter but there are procedures in place to ensure that each voter can only vote one ballot.”

There’s no official determination on how Becht was able to vote twice. An election official told WBTV it’s possible that a poll worker did not follow the right procedures when Becht checked into vote the first time, which would allow him to vote again and not show his voting history on the NCSBE webpage.

NCSBE says they have not received other complaints from Union County that anyone was able to vote twice.

By the end of Election Day Becht’s early vote was showing on the NCSBE webpage.

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