NC election worker indicted after trying to restore 250 felons as voters, officials say

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — An ex-North Carolina election worker has been indicted after she illegally restored or was in the process of restoring about 250 felons as voters last summer for the 2016 General Election, authorities say.

The State Bureau of Elections said in a news release Tuesday that Joy Yvette Wilkerson, 41, of Henderson faces four felony counts of unlawful voter registration and one count of unlawful altering of voter registrations, a misdemeanor.

Wilkerson, who was arrested in early April, was indicted by a Granville County grand jury on Tuesday.

The elections board said that in late 2015, Wilkerson was hired through a temporary staffing agency to work at the Granville County Board of Elections in preparation for the 2016 presidential election.

In June 2016, county elections director Tonya Burnette found in a review that voter registration records were changed without authorization. Burnette told the elections board, which investigated the matter and sent a full report to the district attorney’s office.

On June 24, 2016, county officials reported to the N.C. Board of Elections that a worker “had restored (a felon’s) voter registration to active status without any authorization or documentation,” according to a report from the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.

In a report filed on March 28, 2017, deputies said that “there were 250 convicted felons who she had restored or was in the process of restoring to active status.”

Wilkerson, who worked as a Waffle House waitress at the time of her April 3 arrest, was initially charged with two counts of felony fraudulent unlawful voter registration and misdemeanor unlawful altering of voter registration, according to Granville County deputies.

The issues in the voter database were corrected in the voter registration database before the general election, Granville County officials said.