Votes Not Counted: Allison's Story

Each post in SCSJ’s “Votes Not Counted” series tells the story of a person qualified to vote before the passage of North Carolina’s Monster Voter Suppression Law, whose ballot was unjustly denied this year. Below is Allison’s story. If you know another eligible voter whose vote has been denied, please email
Allison Deters, a 22-year-old North Carolina resident, was not able to vote in the 2014 General Election. Despite having registered to vote at the Watauga County DMV months in advance of the voter registration deadline, her name was not listed on the voter rolls come Election Day.
Originally from Fredricksburg, Virginia, Allison moved to the North Carolina High Country in 2010. She’s lived in Boone for the past four years while attending Appalachian State University. She’s pleased to now call North Carolina home. Allison is a senior at App State studying Music Performance for Voice and will graduate in May, 2015. Throughout her residency in Boone, she has been active in both her college and local communities. Allison has worked as a singer and performer at Horn in the West, a theater and historical site in Boone N.C., as well as the Soprano Section Leader for The Choir of St. Mary’s of the Hills Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock, N.C. She has further supported and participated in the performing arts community on-campus. Allison cares about state and local issues and keeps up with current events.
Allison has voted regularly since she turned 18 years old. In 2010 and 2012, she voted as a Virginia resident. After switching her permanent address to North Carolina in April of this year, she looked forward to voting for the first time as a North Carolina resident in November. Allison changed her residency by going to the Watauga County DMV to trade her Virginia license for a North Carolina license. There, the DMV official asked her if she would like to register to vote at that time. She agreed and did register on that day.
This fall, Allison was aware of the growing controversy surrounding the Watauga Board of Election’s polling site assignments and in late October she decided to check her registration online. Since November’s election would have been the first in which she voted in North Carolina, she wanted to find her polling place and check to see whether or not it would be affected by that highly publicized and ongoing battle.
When she searched for her registration information on the State Board of Elections website, Allison discovered that she was not listed as a registered voter. She would have liked to have been able to rectify this new development by resubmitting a voter registration form at that time, but after reading online that the registration deadline had passed and that the same-day registration option was no longer offered, she realized that she would not be allowed to cast a ballot. She did not know that she could attempt to vote provisionally on Election Day or during the early voting period.
Allison did everything right and by every measure of fairness, she should have been permitted to vote. By taking advantage of a voter registration program designed to cut the red tape and make voting easier, she assumed that she was, in fact, a registered voter. Instead, that program failed her and she could not exercise her constitutional right to participate in the electoral process. The October 10th voter registration deadline had already passed by the time she discovered the DMV’s mistake and she was disenfranchised through no fault of her own. If the North Carolina General Assembly had not passed the 2013 voting law, Allison could have easily corrected the DMV’s error by taking advantage of the same-day registration option. As a direct consequence of that law, Allison’s vote was not counted.
Allison is disappointed that she was not able to vote for representatives in the state where she has made her permanent home and in the community where she’s been an active member for years. She wants everyone to understand that voters are being denied their constitutional rights because of bad decisions being made by Raleigh lawmakers. Allison is sharing her story in order to fight back against bad voting laws.
If you know an eligible voter whose vote has been unfairly denied, please ask them to tell their story! Contact for more information.