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EXCLUSIVE: Local Politicians Strike Back at Clay Aiken

Dec. 9 2009, Published 4:30 a.m. ET

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It’s not quite George W. Bush and the Florida voting controversy, but it still involves a notable name and some dubious dealings. Clay Aiken recently found himself the subject of scrutiny when a North Carolina board challenged his recent vote, saying he committed voter fraud in October by registering under his mother’s address.

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Aiken, who has a degree in special education and went to school in the area, may have incited the ire of the board with a November post on his blog in which he called them  “selfish idiots.”

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“What happened to Wake County Schools?!?,” Aiken wrote. “Now that i have a kid i am so much more invested and I am EXTREMELY disappointed that so many selfish idiots ran and won seats on the school board. i hope we can get rid of them as soon as possible before they ruin my school system. Idiots.”

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Claude Pope, the chairman of the Wake County Republican Party told that his challenge to Aiken’s vote was not because of the singer’s comments but because of an obligation to correct an error.

"Heavens no, this has nothing to do personally with Clay. Clay is such a remarkable talent and everybody in this country has the right to say what they want to say, when they want to say it and to whom," Pope said. “Hundreds of people make critical comments in the paper everyday about both parties...The reason we filed this is because the News Observer article made reference to the fact that he lived in Chatham County but voted in Wake County. When you have public comments being brought forth by a news organization we had no choice but to file a challenge to that."

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The Wake County Board of Elections, who held a hearing on the matter in Raleigh on Wednesday, will not take further action since Aiken withdrew his registration.

“They did find probable cause that he voted improperly,” Pope added.  The fact remains that he did vote illegally, once in 2008 and once in 2009 and could have voted illegally in 2006 or 2004.  He moved to Chatham County in 2006 I believe he lived in LA prior to that and voted absentee. We didn't challenge those particular situations. Certainly in the last two elections, in one he voted in person and one he voted absentee when he was in fact living in Chatham County."

On Tuesday, Aiken made an announcement explaining his voter registration change was to stop from getting further into a “technical dispute.”



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