MIAMI COUNTY — Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Monday that his office had uncovered hundreds of non-U.S. citizens registered to vote in Ohio, with 82 of them casting ballots in recent elections.
Of the 385 non-citizens registered to vote in Ohio, one of them was registered to vote in Miami County.
“From what we’ve received, we had one registered and none that voted,” Bev Kendall, director of the Miami County Board of Elections, said on Tuesday. “We’ve not received anything to identify them.”
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office has not yet provided the Miami County Board of Elections’ office the identity of the Miami County resident who was illegally registered to vote. It is also unclear which political party the non-citizen is registered with, if any.
“It’ll be interesting to see who it was and how long they were registered,” Kendall said.
In order to become registered to vote, a resident can provide either the last four digits of his or her Social Security number or his or her driver’s license number. A person registering to vote also signs an oath of affirmation that he or she is a U.S. citizen and that the information provided on that voter registration form is true and accurate.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office initiated a review of Ohio’s Statewide Registered Voter Database (SWRVD) to identify non-citizens on the voter rolls. This is the third review Husted’s administration has conducted.
“In light of the national discussion about illegal voting, it is important to inform our discussions with facts. The fact is voter fraud happens, it is rare, and when it happens, we hold people accountable,” Husted said in a statement.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the 82 non-citizens who registered to vote and did cast ballots will be referred to state and federal law enforcement officials for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The 303 registered voters identified as non-citizens who did not cast a ballot will be sent letters informing them that non-citizens are not eligible to vote and requesting that they cancel their voter registrations. A follow-up letter will be sent to any of those non-citizens who still remain registered to vote after 30 days. Any non-citizens identified who remain registered to vote after being contacted twice will then be referred to state and federal law enforcement officials.
The Secretary of State’s office explained they were able to identify these non-citizens as registered voters using information provided by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Applicants are required to provide documentation that they are a U.S. citizen or in the United States legally with their application for a state identification card or driver’s license.
The non-citizens were identified by the Secretary of State’s office using a double confirmation process, which requires registered voters to have provided documentation to the BMV themselves indicating that they are a non-U.S. citizen two times before being flagged.
“I have a responsibility to preserve the integrity of Ohio’s elections system,” Husted said. “When you consider that in Ohio we have had 112 elections decided by one vote or tied in the last three years, every case of illegal voting must be taken seriously and elections officials must have every resource available to them to respond accordingly.”
In neighboring counties, Montgomery County had 12 non-citizens registered to vote who did not cast ballots and two non-citizens registered who did cast ballots; Shelby County had one non-citizen registered to vote who did cast a ballot; Champaign County had zero; Clark County had five non-citizens registered to vote who did not cast ballots; and Darke County had one non-citizen registered to vote who did cast a ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336