BALLOT MIX-UP: Brunswick County woman told she ‘already voted’
SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — Imagine going to the polls to cast your ballot, only to be told you’ve already voted. That’s exactly what happened to a Brunswick County woman on Wednesday.
April Babson went to an early voting location to vote together with her daughter, who recently turned voting age.
“I came here to the Shallotte office bringing my daughter for the first time,” Babson said. She’s 18 and was very excited.”
That milestone moment soon turned sour when Babson walked up to the ballot station to give her name.
“She told me I’d already voted, and I said ‘no ma’am I have not,'” Babson said. “And she said ‘yeah you have, you voted on the 26th.”
North Carolina voter records show two April Babsons registered in Brunswick County: April Lanier and April Yvette.
“I reached out to an April Babson that I know, and we spoke in a text and she said that she actually voted on the 26th,” Babson said.
Brunswick County Elections Director Sara Knotts believes the other April Babson voted under the wrong name by mistake.
“The software, what happens when we put in a name, a first and last name, if there’s more than one it defaults to the first name in the list,” Knotts said. “And so what I believe happened is this voter’s name was first in the list, but the precinct official should have selected the next one down.”
Babson was given a provisional ballot so the Brunswick County Board of Elections can investigate and correct the situation.
She posted about the experience on social media, and says others have reached out with similar stories.
“We’re not supposed to show our ID, but in doing this this is what has happened, this is what it’s led to,” she said.
After her ordeal, Babson says she has advice for others heading to the polls.
“Be careful,” she said. “If you’re going to vote, give them your name, do the address, make sure it’s the right thing because I did that and thank God she caught it.”
Knotts echoes that advice and says poll workers will be reminded to take their time and make sure voters are reading and confirming that the information listed is correct.