Votes Not Counted: Mat’s Story

Mat Windsor was denied the right to vote in this election because of a bureaucratic mistake that could not be corrected. Mat did everything right, but because the law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly (H.B. 589) in 2013 to “combat voter fraud” ended same day registration—the ability of voters to register (or to re-register if the voter was incorrectly purged) during early voting – Mat lost his vote.
Mat lives in Dobson, North Carolina in Surry County. He attended Surry Central High School (Class of 2000) and UNC Chapel Hill (Class of 2004). He turned 18 in time for the 2000 presidential election, but didn’t vote in that election. He has regretted that decision, and has been a regular voter since then.
In 2012, Mat was in Australia obtaining a master’s degree in business from the University of Queensland (Class of 2012). He requested a UOCAVA ballot, and voted absentee in that election.
Mat is a property manager, and travels all around the country for work. He flew home specifically to vote early in this election. When Mat went to the early voting center located at 201 E. Kapp Street on Friday, October 31, 2014, he was told that his voter registration had been cancelled because of his 2012 absentee ballot. Mat was further told that registration was closed and he would not be able to register to vote in this election.
Mat never received any communication from the county board of elections that his registration was being cancelled. And his registration should not have been cancelled because he exercised his right to vote using the protections of UOCAVA. This was a mistake on the part of the county board of elections. Mat lost his vote to red tape.
Mat is angry and frustrated.  He learned when he was living in Australia that people all over the world watch how we conduct elections in the United States. And when voters are being excluded unfairly, it reflects badly on this Country.
Mat’s situation could have been corrected if the General Assembly had not repealed same-day registration. The mistake made wasn’t his, and there is no reason that Mat should be disenfranchised. Mat wants everyone to understand that voters are being denied their constitutional rights because of bad decisions being made by Raleigh lawmakers. Mat is sharing his story in order to fight back against bad voting laws.
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 Mat’s story. If you know another eligible voter whose vote has been denied, please email
Post by SCSJ Senior Staff Attorney Allison Riggs