Under the Dome

Would conjoined twins get one vote or two in NC?

At the state Board of Elections office in downtown Raleigh, phones have been ringing off the hook, and inboxes have been filled with a constant flow of questions and complaints from around the state.

Most are common enough to warrant a stock response – Have I registered to vote? You can check online, or we can help you. Where can I vote? You can check online, or we can help you. The list could go on for days, but a question that stands out in elections director Gary Bartlett's mind is a step away from the ordinary and has yet to find a definite response.

"Someone called and wanted to know, what about Siamese twins – would they get one vote or two?" Bartlett said.

A few numbers to give context to the coveted, if controversial, conjoined twin vote: Conjoined twins make up an estimated 1.47 in 100,000 live births, and more than 4.2 million people voted in North Carolina in 2008.

Depending on turnout this time around, that means there could be about 62 votes cast by a conjoined twin – or would it be 124?

Bartlett and others at the state Board of Elections have kicked the question around, and the best they can come up with is that conjoined twins legally-classified as two people get two votes while those without proof they are two separate people get one vote.

"I would need to get a legal opinion before I could say for sure," he said, adding that the question is not exactly on the top of his list.

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