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Worker charged with trying to clear felons for voting in Granville

April 6, 2017 GMT

A woman hired to help the Granville County Board of Elections prepare for the 2016 elections has been charged with trying to change voter records so dozens of convicted felons could vote, authorities said.

Joy Yvette Wilkerson, 41, of 101 Cheatham Lane, was arrested Monday on two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of unlawful voter registration and was released on a $14,000 bond.

Sheriff Brindell Wilkins said Wilkerson was hired in 2015 by a staffing agency tasked with filling temporary positions with the county elections board to prepare for the 2016 election. Last summer, elections director Tonya Burnette determined during a routine review of a mailing list that Wilkerson had been changing voter records without authorization and had made about 250 convicted felons eligible to vote, the sheriff said.

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Burnette notified the State Board of Elections, which investigated and turned its findings over to the Granville County District Attorney’s Office to pursue criminal charges.

County and state elections officials worked together to ensure all changes allegedly made by Wilkerson were corrected before the November election, the sheriff said.

The state Republican Party quickly used the case to illustrate the need for screens such as photo identification at the polls.

“Incidents like these prove that attempts to encourage illegal voting, violate the law and manipulate our voting process do exist and must be countered with strong voter fraud protections,” GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement.