Um, Republican voter fraud, that is. Laura Strickler and Michael Rey for CBS News report: The CBS News Investigative Unit has learned a man who was a field coordinator in Congressman Patrick McHenry's (R-NC) 2004 campaign has been indicted for voter fraud in North Carolina. The indictment charges that Michael Aaron Lay, 26, illegally cast his ballot in two 2004 Congressional primary run-offs in which McHenry was a candidate. The charges indicate that Lay voted in a district where it was not legal for him to vote. At the time Lay was listed as a resident in a home owned by 32-year-old McHenry but campaign records indicate Lay's paychecks were sent to an address in Tennessee. McHenry won the primary by only 86 votes. According to Gaston County, North Carolina District Attorney Locke Bell, Lay was indicted on Monday, May 7 by a local grand jury. The comments to the post are also noteworthy. Commenter GRNC says that as "a political activist responsible for running PAC ads in Congressman McHenry's 10th Congressional District Primary which were partially responsible for his win, let me tell you that I have never even heard of Michael Aaron Lay," and accuses CBS of "making a national issue out of a single minor player committing voter fraud" perpetrated by "a low-level campaign worker." Commenter MrWayneKing, identified as Kings Mountain, NC- Cleveland County Republican Party Chairman and speaking in the third person, posts what appears to be a copy of his own press release which states: “In 2004, I supported Patrick McHenry's campaign for Congress. In fact, I often went to his house in Cherryville to volunteer for the campaign. I can personally attest that Mr. Aaron Lay resided there on a full-time basis. Aaron is a good friend of mine, and it's shameful that District Attorney Locke Bell is trying to destroy his life for political purposes. I continue to support Congressman McHenry.” So the accused is either a "low-level campaign worker" or a house mate of Congressman McHenry. Which may raise perhaps a couple other questions. Just for the record, there's only limited information contained in the news report, and the mere fact that checks were sent to an address outside the district where the accused cast his ballots doesn't seem like sufficient basis to prove guilt of fraud. Perhaps the grand jury which returned the indictment had more information upon which to reach it's decision.
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