Ohio’s Secretary of State Says 354 Non-Citizens Voted or Registered to Vote in 2018

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Ohio’s Secretary of State says 354 people who are not U.S. citizens have voted or registered to vote in 2018.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose says 277 non-citizens registered to vote and another 77 actually voted in the midterm election in 2018. He says the problems were discovered in the most recent annual check between his office’s database and the one at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

LaRose says he had safeguards in place to make sure these voters were not improperly accused. He says he mailed two notices to each of them at the address where they are registered to vote, asking them to cancel those registrations or advise his office they are a U.S. citizen.

LaRose is referring all of them to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost for possible prosecution. It’s now up to Yost to investigate further and decide whether these individuals should be prosecuted.

The Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Jen Miller, says it’s possible many of these cases are not due to malicious intent. She says people for which English is their second language often find processes like this confusing. And she adds there could be simple explanations for many of these cases. Miller says voting fraud is rare.

“You are more likely to win the Powerball than to witness illegal voting,” Miller says.

Mike Brickner, the Ohio state director for All Voting is Local agrees.

“It’s really important to know these have not been fully investigated yet,” Brickner says.

Brickner says it’s possible those who have been referred have become legal citizens since obtaining their driver’s license. He cautions those types of changes can fall through the cracks in comparison of these databases, much like some cases in Texas recently.

Secretary LaRose says there are 7.6 million Ohioans registered to vote. He explains local boards don’t always have the ability to check all of the information on every voter registration so there could be logical explanations for some of these cases. But he says it’s important for the state to take a closer look in these situations.

“Voter fraud is exceedingly rare in Ohio but it is also never acceptable,” LaRose says.

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