Two women charged with illegal voting

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Freddice Harvey


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

CURRITUCK — Two Currituck County women currently serving probation for felony convictions have been charged with voting illegally in the November 2016 election.

Freddice Harvey and Surlinda McGhee, both 62, were indicted Jan. 9 by a Currituck grand jury on charges of felony voting without first having their right to vote restored, Currituck Superior Court records show.

Both Harvey and McGhee cast ballots during the early voting period prior to the November 2016 election, their indictments state. Neither was eligible to vote at the time because they were serving active sentences for probation.

The N.C. State Board of Elections is listed as the complaining agency on the indictments. A spokesman for the agency couldn't immediately be reached for this story.

However, according to a story published in The News & Observer in April 2017, a state elections board investigation discovered that 508 voters cast ballots in the November 2016 election who weren’t eligible to do so. The majority of those casting illegal ballots were felons serving active sentences, the newspaper reported. 

The newspaper said a database search matched people who had voted early or by absentee ballot with N.C. Department of Public Safety records showing felons serving active sentences. That search found 441 voters who appeared to be serving active felony sentences on Election Day. Under state law, convicted felons can vote in North Carolina only after completing their sentences, including any probation or parole, the newspaper reported.

Harvey, of the 1200 block of Shawboro Road, is currently on probation for her June 2015 conviction in Pasquotank County for felony exploitation of a disabled or elderly person, DPS records show. Her probation doesn’t end until June 2019, a DPS spokesman said. 

Harvey completed her parole for a previous conviction for involuntary manslaughter in Pasquotank in October 1994, the records show. The DPS spokesman said Harvey served a few months in prison following that conviction before serving more than a year on parole. 

McGhee, who lists her address as the 400 block of Poplar Branch Road, is currently on probation for her May 2013 conviction in Dare County for felony larceny. Her probation doesn’t end until this May, the DPS spokesman said.

McGhee turned herself in at the Currituck Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 11 and was released after posting a $5,000 secured bond, her indictment shows. Harvey turned herself in at the sheriff’s office on Jan. 12 and was released after posting a $2,000 secured bond.