As someone who is very interested in our election system, I came across a headline that caught my attention from Fox News.com that read:
Naturally, I read through the story expecting to see some damning information in regards to Obama winning the election, and I was surprised that there wasn’t the obvious slant on the article. I’m sure there will be people who will use this as fodder to push for Voter ID laws, but I’m not convinced that those laws would help at all, even in this case. From the story:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday that his office found 17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election — and has referred the case for possible prosecution.
The alleged crime would be a notable case of voter fraud in a key swing state. By law, only American citizens are allowed the privilege of casting ballots for the nation’s leaders.
There were 17 instances of non-citizens casting votes in Ohio in 2012. That shows there is indeed a weakness within the system. Unless those 17 people did not produce an ID, which is required in Ohio, those 17 instances show that simply requiring an ID will not stop votes being cast by ineligible voters. Instead, the weakness in the system is at the point of registration. If non-citizens were not allowed to register, then those 17 would not have been able to cast a vote no matter what form of ID they presented. Their names would not have been on the voter rolls. As the story continues, it appears that is more fact than fiction.
“I have a responsibility to uphold election law, and under both federal and state law you must be a citizen to vote,” said Husted, a Republican who has aggressively tried to investigate voter fraud cases in his state.
Husted also found that 274 non-citizens remain on the voting rolls.
As part of Ohio’s efforts to clean up the voting rolls, election officials discovered that more than 257,000 dead people were still listed as active voters. Their names and status, Husted said, have since been removed.
In addition, election authorities note they have drastically reduced the number of duplicate registrations, from 340,000 in 2011 to just four this past November — and that more than 370,000 Ohio voters who have moved have been contacted to update their voting information.
These statistics are all due to problems with the registration process. I’m not completely against the Voter ID laws as I have presented a photo ID since I started voting. What I am against, however, is the discriminate way these laws are applied. Requiring a photo ID for in-person voting does nothing to stop absentee fraud. As shown by Ohio’s investigation, requiring a photo ID does not stop ineligible voters from casting votes when you allow them to register in the first place. Until the registration process is solid and secure, none of the other stuff really matters in the grand scheme of things.
If I had the audience with politicians, both left and right, I would suggest they focus on securing the registration process and ensuring the voter registration rolls are continuously updated to ensure they are accurate when election time rolls around. This should be a high priority job for the Secretary of State in each and every state and not some task that falls by the wayside because of budget cuts. The SoS is supposed to ensure fair and accurate elections, and I think the registration process is the very first step in ensuring that we have fair elections. Once the registration process is secure, then the ID requirements would ensure fair elections. With sketchy rolls, showing an ID doesn’t mean anything if an invalid voter is registered and present on the roll.
I have to give Ohio kudos to both finding those 17 cases as well as only having 17 cases. According to stats from the Secretary of State’s office, their total of official votes cast in 2012 for the presidential election was 5,633,245 votes out of 7,987,203 voters. That means those non-citizen votes were 0.0003% of the total votes cast in the presidential election. The 274 non-citizens still on the roll represent 0.0034% of the total registered voters as of the 2012 election. The State of Ohio has found the needle in the haystack in this case. The question remains as to how they will resolve the issue. Will they ensure accurate registration, or will they stick to just asking for an ID and hoping the rolls are accurate? For others, simply finding voter fraud validates everything they’ve said before, no matter how statistically small the proof is.
- Non-citizens caught voting in 2012 presidential election in key swing state (foxnews.com)
- This Evidence of Voter Fraud in Ohio Should Change Democrats’ Minds About Voter ID (ijreview.com)
- Stunner. Non-Citizens Caught Voting in 2012 Presidential Election (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Confirmed: Illegal aliens voted in Ohio 2012 presidential election (bluegrasspundit.com)
- Non-citizens caught voting; swing state cracks down (bizpacreview.com)
- Ohio voter fraud claim falls apart (msnbc.com)
- Ohio GOP finds no voter fraud conspiracy, but still pushes voting restrictions (dailykos.com)