COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH, WDTN) – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced an investigation has uncovered that hundreds of non-US citizens are registered to vote in the state, and dozens of them voted illegally.
According to a release from Husted, 385 people who are not citizens of the United States are registered to vote in Ohio. Out of those, 82 voted in at least one election in the last year.
The investigation shows that two non-citizens registered and voted in Montgomery county and one person each in Auglaize, Darke and Shelby counties.
According to Montgomery County Board of Elections director, Jan Kelly, currently there’s no way for offices to confirm if people are legal citizens.
“We have to take their word for it cause we have no way to cross check at this point. They sign an oath of affirmation that they are a U.S. citizens and the information they provide on that voter registration for, wherever they fill it out, at a public agency or a voter registration drive is correct and accurate,” said Kelly.
Husted’s office says the 82 non-citizens who are registered to vote and cast ballots will be immediately referred to law enforcement for further investigation and possible prosecution.
“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,” Secretary Husted said.
The 303 registered voters identified as non-citizens who have not cast a ballot will be sent letters both informing them that non-citizens are not eligible to vote and requesting that they cancel their registration. A follow-up letter will be sent to any individuals that still remain on the rolls after 30 days. Any non-citizens identified that remain on the rolls after being contacted twice will then be referred to law enforcement, according to Husted.
“I have a responsibility to preserve the integrity of Ohio’s elections system,” Secretary 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.”
Husted added that one of the cases where a non-citizen cast a ballot occurred in jurisdictions where an election was decided by one vote or tied.