FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Secretary Husted: Help Ohio Keep Non-Citizens Off Voter Rolls
COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today submitted a second letter to President Barack Obama in regard to concerns he raised in his January 2015 correspondence about the President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions that pose potential problems for the integrity of elections in Ohio. The President’s executive actions increase the potential for millions of additional non-U.S. citizens to illegally register to vote and cast a ballot by allowing them access to Social Security numbers, which can be used to prove identity when registering to vote.
“Seventy-five elections have been decided by one vote or tied over the past two years in Ohio, which is why there is no margin for error when administering elections, especially in a key swing state,” Secretary Husted said. “In order to preserve the confidence of Ohio voters in the democratic process, the President must partner with us to ensure non-citizens cannot register to vote.”
Federal law requires individuals to present a valid Social Security number or driver’s license when registering to vote. The President’s recent executive actions would expand the risk of illegal voter registrations in Ohio and other states by non-citizens by giving them access to those forms of identification.
Secretary Husted reaffirmed his request that the Obama Administration provide state election officials real-time access to accurate, searchable, electronic databases of non-citizens who have valid Social Security numbers so they can distinguish between citizens and lawfully-present non-citizens.
Anyone who commits election falsification can be found guilty of a fifth degree felony, a conviction that could prevent a person from being granted citizenship should they apply in the future.
“This is not only an issue of elections integrity and voter confidence, but also an important safeguard in protecting the records and reputations of those who wish to eventually become full, participating citizens of our country,” Secretary Husted wrote in his letter.” Their aspirations should not be foiled by an inadvertent violation of the law – that of mistakenly registering to vote before achieving U.S. citizenship.
Secretary Husted has taken steps over the past four and a half years to increase voter confidence in Ohio by ensuring that voter fraud is rare and that those who commit it are held responsible for their actions. In June 2015, he released the second-ever statewide voter fraud and suppression report, which found 14 individuals who are suspected of illegally voting, two of whom may have voted both in Ohio and another state. He also became the first Ohio Secretary of State to bring the Buckeye State into compliance with the federal motor voter law by sharing data with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to enhance participation, keep the voter rolls up-to-date and weed out fraud.
“Our work to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio has resulted in the fact that although voter fraud happens, it is rare and we hold people accountable,” added Secretary Husted. “However, unless the President works with us on this issue, we will never know how many people he is letting slip through the cracks.”
For more information, please contact Joshua Eck at (614) 466-2729