Thanks to new cross-checking of the statewide voter database with drivers’ license records, Secretary of State Jon Husted today said his office discovered 17 non-U.S. citizens cast illegal ballots in Ohio’s 2012 general election. Husted has turned over the names of those voters, including five from Franklin County, to the state attorney general’s office for possible prosecution. Under Ohio and federal law, a voter must be a U.S. citizen, and must attest to that fact when registering to vote. Another 274 Ohioans, all of whom are in the state legally but also are not U.S. citizens, are registered to vote but have not cast a ballot. Husted said his office is sending a letter to each informing them they are illegally registered along with the forms needed for them to cancel their registrations. They will not be turned over for prosecution unless they fail to cancel, Husted said.
Husted said the voters were caught because he and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles have cross-checked databases, something that was not happening until recently. A person living legally in Ohio, but who is not a U.S. citizen, must provide documentation to the BMV on a regular basis.
“Whether non-citizens are on the voter rolls has not been an easy question to answer because we did not have the data or the ability to check for citizenship,” he said.
One person turned over for prosecution, Husted said, has been voting in Ohio since 1993. He said there is no evidence of undocumented immigrants voting in any election.