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Mueller Indictment Exposes Russian Targets in North Carolina

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

DURHAM, N.C. (2/16/2018) – In response to indictment charges released today by special prosecutor Robert Mueller revealing how Russian operatives targeted swing states like North Carolina surrounding the 2016 election, Democracy North Carolina’s Executive Director Tomas Lopez released the following statement:

“As set forth in today’s indictments, North Carolina has become the target of efforts to disrupt or manipulate elections by raising false voter fraud claims and eroding the public trust. Those claims echo rhetoric we’ve heard too often in our discourse, and reinforce the need for bipartisan state and federal action on election interference.”


“North Carolina has become the target of efforts to disrupt or manipulate elections by raising false voter claims and eroding the public trust.” –Tomas Lopez, Democracy North Carolina

According to the Mueller indictment, in August 2016, @Ten_GOP, a Twitter account hosted by the Russian operatives, posted false allegations that voter-fraud investigations had been launched in North Carolina. Following the 2016 election, Russian conspirators also posed as activists who arranged a Charlotte rally entitled, “Charlotte Against Trump.”

In 2016, voters in dozens of North Carolina counties were also falsely accused of voter fraud by Gov. Pat McCrory’s 2016 reelection campaign. These claims were exposed in the Democracy North Carolina report, “The Deceit of Voter Fraud.”

The report found that by late November 2016, “the McCrory/NCGOP team had charged about 600 voters in 37 counties with committing fraud or casting suspect absentee ballots — but despite an avalanche of legal filings and the constant drumbeat of “serious voter fraud,” nearly all the accusations proved to be false.”

Democracy North Carolina is a statewide nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase civic participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and remove systemic barriers to voting and serving in elected office.