Votes Not Counted: Mahendri'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 Mahendri’s story. If you know another eligible voter whose vote has been denied, please email
Mahendri is a recently naturalized U.S. citizen who voted in North Carolina for the first time in 2012.  She was very disappointed to learn that she has been denied the right to vote in this election because of the law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 to “combat voter fraud.”  That new law (H.B. 589) ended same day registration—the ability of voters to register (or to change their registration from county-to-county) during early voting.
Mahendri is a highly-educated physician.  She has been married for 30 years and raised successful, happy children.  She received her U.S. citizenship in 2010, a little before she moved from South Dakota to North Carolina.  She and her husband settled first in Harnett County, where she registered to vote and voted in the November 2012 election.  She and her husband relocated last year to Cumberland County.
Mahendri did not know that same day registration would no longer be an option until the day after regular registration ended.  She is mad at herself for not realizing the law had changed, but she is also deeply disappointed that she will have to sit this election out after she’s worked so long and hard to become a citizen.  If the General Assembly had not eliminated same day registration, Mahendri would have been allowed to vote.
There is no reason that Mahendri should be disenfranchised, and she is not alone.  Mahendri does not deserve to lose her constitutional right to vote because she was unaware of unfair election law changes being enacted by Raleigh lawmakers.  Mahendri is sharing her story so that those legislators will know that their decisions cost good, hard-working North Carolinians their right to vote.