Election worker tried to restore 250 felons as voters in Granville County, officials say

OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — A temporary election worker in Granville County illegally restored or was in the process of restoring about 250 felons as voters last summer for the 2016 General Election, authorities say.

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Joy Yvette Wilkerson, 41, of Henderson, who was arrested Monday, was working in late 2015 and 2016 to help prepare the county for the 2016 Presidential Elections, according to officials.

On June 24, 2016, county officials reported to the N.C. Board of Elections that a worker “had restored (a felon’s) voter registration to active status without any authorization or documentation,” according to a report from the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.

In a report filed on March 28, 2017, deputies said that “there were 250 convicted felons who she had restored or was in the process of restoring to active status.”

Wilkerson, who now works as a Waffle House waitress, was charged Monday with two counts of felony fraudulent unlawful voter registration and misdemeanor unlawful altering of voter registration, according to Granville County deputies.

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The North Carolina Board of Elections said in a statement Wednesday that “improper changes made by the worker were corrected in the voter registration database before the (2016) general election.”

Wilkerson was hired in late 2015 through a temporary staffing agency to work at the Granville County Board of Elections, the N.C. Board of Elections said.

Wilkerson was arrested at her Cheatham Lane home on Monday. She was released on a $14,000 secured bond, deputies said.

Wilkerson said by phone late Wednesday she was at work and unable to comment.  Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 17.

Here is the full statement released Wednesday by the N.C. Board of Elections:

“In late 2015, a temporary worker was screened and hired through a temporary staffing agency to work at the Granville County Board of Elections in preparation for the 2016 presidential election. In June 2016, Tonya Burnette, Granville County elections director, determined through a review of records that the temporary worker changed voter registration records without authorization. Burnette quickly notified the State Board of Elections, which investigated the matter and recently sent a full report about the case to the district attorney’s office for Granville County for possible prosecution.

“The Granville County Board of Elections and State Board of Elections office worked together to ensure that improper changes made by the worker were corrected in the voter registration database before the general election.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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