Leland Duane Lewis fought the law.
The law won.
Lewis, who recently turned 90, voted twice in 2010 to show that he and others inclined to do so could cast multiple ballots without getting caught.
The story caught the attention of The News & Observer last August, and reached by phone in a recent interview, Lewis said his case has been resolved. He followed legal advice and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to voting fraud last October. He served no jail time but had to pay $180 in court costs and a $200 fine.
Lewis said he’s pretty confident he was the oldest guy in Wake County Jail when he was booked on the charges, and judging by his mugshot, he was none too pleased. He said he was taken in on an arrest warrant and briefly placed in a holding cell.
The trouble began for Lewis was when he decided to fill out one side of the ballot at an early-voting station at Optimist Park in West Raleigh and then the other side of the ballot at his regular precinct on Election Day.
“They’re not protecting the ballot if they’re letting people go in and pick up two,” Lewis said. “I’m fed up. It’s been going on for years, and it’s more widespread than we think it is.”
Even though he pleaded guilty, Lewis believes the district attorney didn’t present the correct ballot to the judge. Lewis said he wanted to get a fingerprint analysis of the ballot given to the judge as evidence and said he opted not to only to avoid the court appearances and a potentially harsh sentence if he was wrong.
“I’m disappointed in the way they handled it and what they did,” said Lewis, a registered Republican. "The system is broken, and that's what they need to focus on. That was my whole point."
The prevalence of voting fraud and whether a policy response is needed has been a issue around the country, and in North Carolina. Raleigh-based Voter Integrity Project recently compiled a list of 30,000 names of dead people who are still registered to vote.