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Reality Check: Do local voters live where they say they live?

In December, the Buncombe County Board of Elections, under protest, added 56 votes to its final count. The Board of Elections did not initially count those votes because of problems verifying the voters' registration.

President Donald Trump maintains widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote, however, he has not produced evidence to support those claims.

News 13 received the names and addresses of the 56 Buncombe County voters through a Freedom of Information Act request and attempted to verify that those people lived where they said they lived.

The 56 votes came from all over the county. People in this group registered with same day registration or by mail close to the deadline. On Dec. 1, the Buncombe County Board of Elections held an emergency meeting. The county had already completed its canvass. The county sent each person two mailings to confirm they lived where they said they lived. Two letters to each person came back as undeliverable. Because of that, the county did not include the votes in its final count.

RELATED | Buncombe County Board of Elections ordered to add 56 unverified ballots

The State Board of Elections says a lack of mail verification cannot be the only reason to remove a vote. After Buncombe County tallied its final count, the board called an emergency meeting, and a state order resulted in the board adding the 56 votes, under protest.

The votes represented 0.03 percent of the vote and would not have affected the outcome of any race, the county said.

Two people listed an Arden apartment complex as their home. The landlord could not confirm if they lived there or not. No one answered one door, and the second person did not list an apartment number.

In western Buncombe County, News 13 found a person at home at one of the remaining 54 addresses, but it was not the voter. The man said nobody by the name registered there lived there. However, he suggested trying his neighbor's house.

His neighbor, who rents out part of her home, said the voter lived at her house. The person registered using the house number 42 instead of 40.

"This is their address," Miriam Helton, the landlord, said.

At an apartment complex in Woodfin, News 13 tried to find a voter who didn't list an apartment number. A neighbor confirmed the person lived there. Five out of 15 voters News 13 checked registered without listing their apartment numbers.

In North Asheville, a person registered at an apartment, but GPS led to an intersection without any housing. In downtown Black Mountain, a person registered at 10 Cherry St., but all the addresses are in the 100's. Those were the only two places News 13 couldn't find.

Just outside downtown Black Mountain, News 13 found one of the voters, but she didn't want to be on camera.

"Thanks for letting me know," she said, unaware her vote almost didn't count.

News 13 drove all over the county, and it took five and a half hours to reach 15 of the 56 voters. We believe we confirmed three of the voters, and we learned an additional three registered at a substance abuse facility. A person there said he recognized the names but said those people no longer lived there.

A State Board of Elections spokesperson said he didn't know how many votes in North Carolina were affected by the same issue.

Elections directors from Haywood and Henderson counties said they eventually verified their registrations. Haywood County's director said what can sometimes seem suspicious at first it just a person who moved elsewhere within the county.

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