April 20, 2014

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Ohio elections chief says 17 noncitizens voted in 2012

 

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted briefs reporters on Nov. 6 at the statehouse in Columbus. Husted said 17 noncitizens voted illegally in the battleground state in last year's presidential election, and another 274 are registered but did not vote. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins, File)

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted briefs reporters on Nov. 6 at the statehouse in Columbus. Husted said 17 noncitizens voted illegally in the battleground state in last year’s presidential election, and another 274 are registered but did not vote. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins, File)

COLUMBUS — Seventeen noncitizens voted illegally in battleground Ohio in the 2012 presidential election year, and an additional 274 were registered but did not vote, the state’s elections chief said Wednesday.

Secretary of State Jon Husted said he was able to identify non-U.S. citizens on Ohio’s voter rolls for the first time through the matching of voter records and license and ID information kept by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

“None of my predecessors attempted to investigate or answer the noncitizen question because they couldn’t,” he said at a news conference. “Information about citizenship (kept by the bureau) and the elections system were not designed to work together.”

Husted emphasized that none of the identified cases involved immigrants who were in the country illegally. In the most egregious case, a noncitizen who was in the country legally had been voting in Ohio — which is against the law — since 1993.

Results of the review will be turned over to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for possible prosecution. Husted said he also will give those identified the chance to cancel their registrations.

He said the review confirmed earlier indications that voter fraud exists but is rare.

In the wake of the findings, Husted urged passage of a bill before fellow Republicans in the state Legislature that would allow online voter registration.

A message seeking comment was left with a spokesman for the Ohio Senate, where a bill introduced in August remains in committee.

Online voter registration would help avoid future instances of noncitizens voting, Husted said. He also has backed such a system as a way to improve voter access and save the state money.

He said Wednesday that a driver’s license number provided at the time of registration could quickly be matched to Bureau of Motor Vehicles records to check citizenship status.

Online registration was part of an election bill in 2011 but was later repealed. Ohio residents can’t register online to vote, but under changes Husted made last year they can update their addresses.

  • Razorback Twou

    OH, my God! And how many races were swayed by this? Zero would be my guess. First politicians yell not enough people vote and now that the vote doesn’t go there way too many people vote And now if you don’t drive you are a non-person and should not have a vote. Why is Ohio tracking who votes? It starting to look like in Ohio if you don’t vote Republican you should not have the right to vote. Can someone explain the crises here?

    • SniperFire

      You don’t want stupid people to vote. The Founders knew this.
      Stupid people vote themselves other people’s money and destroy the system. And yes, America is toast.

      • Conservator440

        There was a reason why only land owners had the vote. This is but one example of it.

    • Conservator440

      Funny how tracking voters by the Obama campaign, along with apathy on the part of a lot of people, caused his re-election. Do you have a problem with that, sir? The vote is THE most sacred right we have as citizens. Apparently someone was asleep in their senior civics class.

  • Don Grantzki

    They only found the few. There’s bound to be more since the demmunists sign them up to voter registration cards just as soon as they cross the borders.

    • Zen Grouch

      Quite right!

      Pity the Republican’ts are totally powerless to do anything about it.

      BWAAAAA-HAAAA-HA!

  • trose1

    How much money is the Ohio GOP waisting on this bs? Our tax dollars being stolen from this group of tea party nuts.

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      Assuring only eligible people vote secures our greatest right. Why do you hate America?

  • Conservator440

    That is 17 that we know of, how many have actually committed the felony? When the ballot box is literally violated, we are in serious trouble as a nation. As with the economy–a few million here, a few million there and it adds up to real money.

  • LookBackTwo

    I’m sure they were all registered as Republicans!

  • oldruss

    I’m sorry, but tell me, how does someone who is a non-citizen register to vote in the first place? It’s been a long time since I first registered to vote, and I don’t remember what documentation of citizenship I may have had to show. How is it that the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has better records than the Secretary of State or the county boards of elections?

  • John Davidson

    For those that want to know how they were registered

    call ACORN. Maybe the all go to Oberlin College and were bussed to the registration and voting.