by Tyler Arnold
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is reviewing an allegation that 77 noncitizens illegally voted in Ohio’s elections and that 277 noncitizens illegally registered to vote.
Each person who is being accused is believed to be in the United States legally, but is not a citizen. State law prohibits all noncitizens from voting in any of the state’s elections.
The allegation comes from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, which referred the individuals and documentation of their cases to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation and potential prosecution. Bethany McCorkle, communications director for Attorney General Dave Yost, confirmed with The Center Square that his office received the referral and is reviewing it, but referred all other questions to the Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
“Thanks to the controls and processes of our election system, both voter fraud and voter suppression are exceedingly rare and certainly not as systemic as some claim,” Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in his letter to Yost.
“However, neither are ever acceptable – even in rare or isolated instances,” LaRose said. “The only way to continue this high standard is by committing to enforce the law when it is broken. While it’s fortunate so few were potentially caught in violation of state law, the legitimacy of our democratic republic depends on the consistent enforcement of the laws governing our voting processes. I’m confident that you will give this matter the seriousness that our representative democracy deserves by acting quickly to complete your investigations and pursuing prosecution as warranted.”
To determine whether any noncitizen registered to vote illegally, LaRose cross-matched the voter rolls in the Statewide Voter Registration database with the Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s list of people who have a driver’s license or a state identification card.
Although Ohio does not maintain a list of all noncitizens in the state, the BMV list indicates the citizenship status of a person applying for the identification. Each person being accused had provided the BMV with documentation that indicated they were not citizens both before and after they had registered or voted.
LaRose’s office has sent letters to each of the identified persons requesting that each person cancel his or her voter registration or inform the office that he or she is actually a citizen.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.
Photo “Vote Sign” by Tom Arthur. CC BY-SA 2.0.