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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 8, 2019

Former North Carolina Board of Elections Election Official Sentenced to Prison for Aiding and Abetting Voting by an Alien in the 2016 General Election

NEW BERN – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that DENSLO ALLEN PAIGE, age 66, of Wake County, North Carolina, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan to two (2) months active time in the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons, one (1) year supervised release, $250 fine, and a $25 special assessment.  PAIGE’s sentencing follows her guilty plea to aiding and abetting voting by an alien.

According to court records, PAIGE, a paid volunteer and former election official with the North Carolina Board of Elections, advised Guadalupe Espinosa-Pena, a Mexican citizen, to register to vote and to vote in the 2016 General Elections.

PAIGE knew that Espinosa-Pena was not a United States citizen. Espinosa-Pena had been twice denied naturalization. However, PAIGE told Espinosa-Pena that “if he wanted his voice to be heard, he needed to vote.” PAIGE assisted Espinosa-Pena in completing his voter’s registration form.

The first question in Espinosa-Pena’s voter registration form was “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”  The form contained two boxes, one for “Yes” and one for “No.” The form further stated “IF YOU CHECKED ‘NO’ IN RESPONSE TO THIS QUESTION, DO NOT SUBMIT THIS FORM.”

According to statements made by PAIGE, she assisted Espinosa-Pena in the completion of the voter registration form and intentionally left the citizenship question unanswered.  PAIGE said that she then submitted the form to a Board of Elections official for processing.  At some later point, after the form had been submitted to the Board of Elections, some other person apparently checked the citizenship block “yes,” and Espinosa was allowed to register to vote.

Espinosa-Pena was assigned a polling station in Wake County, North Carolina. Espinosa-Pena voted in the 2016 General Election held in part for the purpose of electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice-President, and Member of the House of Representatives.

Mr. Higdon stated “The right to vote is a precious privilege available only to citizens of the United States. When a non-citizen votes in a federal election it serves to dilute and devalue the vote of American citizens and places the decision making authority of the American electorate in the hands of those who have no right to make those choices. This case is particularly disturbing as the defendant worked for the Board of Elections.  My office will do its part to protect the rights of every American citizen to cast their vote freely and to have it counted fairly.”

The case was investigated by the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) in the Eastern District of North Carolina lead by Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, and assisted by Enforcement Removal Operations, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, among other agencies.  The investigation as to voting fraud is ongoing.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated February 8, 2019