James O'Keefe's "Dead" NC Voter Isn't Dead

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In his newest video, conservative videographer James O'Keefe claims that during his organization's latest inept voter fraud sting in North Carolina, "we found ballots being offered out in the name of the dead." Unfortunately for O'Keefe, the person whose ballot his operative sought is actually alive, as is indicated by the raw video his organization posted online.

From the video (at 4:43):

O'KEEFE: We found ballots being offered out in the name of the dead. One man, Michael Bolton, had died April 23, but apparently the Board of Elections didn't get the memo, and his ballot was offered to us on May 8.

In the ensuing video clip, an O'Keefe operative at a polling place tells a poll worker, "The name is Michael G. Bolton." There is then a jump cut, and in the next clip the poll worker is telling the operative to sign or make an mark in the pollbook to affirm his identity. The operative then says he would feel more comfortable if he could show his photo ID, and leaves.

Something very important happens during that jump cut. As the raw video reveals, the poll worker says, "You must be a junior? ... Michael G. Bolton, Jr.?" to which O'Keefe's operative responds: "That would be correct."

Yes, as multiple obituaries for Bolton note, he was survived by, among others, his son Michael Gordon Bolton, Jr. Public records searches using the Nexis database confirm that Bolton Jr. was registered to vote at the same address given to the poll worker by the O'Keefe operative.

This isn't the only error of this sort O'Keefe made. As ThinkProgress noted, the "non-citizen" voter supposedly exposed by the video is actually a naturalized citizen.

And, as we've noted time and time again, the O'Keefe operative being offered a ballot does not show actual voter fraud being committed nor does it prove the existence of a widespread conspiracy to steal an election.

UPDATE: As is typically the case, O'Keefe's video was unquestioningly parroted by several conservative blogs. Michelle Malkin wrote that "investigative journalist James O'Keefe and Project Veritas continues to expose, expose, expose" voter fraud, adding that for their latest video "Project Veritas pulled up jury refusal forms and voter history documents to show that non-citizens and dead people there are registered to vote." She urged her readers to donate to O'Keefe's organization to "support the voter integrity investigations that the MSM won't do." Similarly, Breitbart.com reported that "Project Veritas's video also shows how easy it is for a person to obtain the ballot of a dead person." Neither have corrected the record following our report or that of ThinkProgress.

The Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle wrote an article which did not address O'Keefe's "dead voter," but did discuss his "non-citizen" voter. Following the ThinkProgress report, the Caller appended to the article the following "update": "ThinkProgress has proven [supposed non-citizen Zbigniew] Gorzkowski lied on his jury duty forms as he is, according to the left-wing blog, a U.S. naturalized citizen."

Posted In
Elections, Voting Rights & Issues
James O'Keefe
Voter Fraud and Suppression
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