(CNSNews.com) – Voter fraud is rare, but it happens, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted said on Tuesday.
Following a review of Ohio’s voter registration database, Husted announced on Monday that that his office has identified an additional 385 non-citizens who were registered to vote, and 82 of them have voted in at least one election.
Those 82 non-citizens who are registered to vote and have cast ballots will be immediately referred to state and federal law enforcement officials for further investigation and possible prosecution, Husted said.
The other 303 non-citizens who are registered to vote in Ohio but who have not cast a ballot will be sent letters 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 that remain on the Ohio voter rolls after being contacted twice will be referred to state and federal law enforcement officials.
The numbers announced on Monday follow two earlier reviews of voter rolls in 2013 and 2015.
Since 2013, Husted’s office has identified a total of 821 non-citizens on Ohio’s registered voter rolls, including 291 in 2013, 145 in 2015, and 385 in 2017.
Since 2013, 126 non-U.S. citizens have voted in at least one Ohio election, including 17 in 2013; 27 in 2015; and 82 in 2017. So the voter fraud is trending up.
Husted, interviewed on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning, said his office uses driver’s license data to determine who is not eligible to vote:
“These are people who are here legally,” he said. “They get a driver’s license; we match the data against voting records, and then that’s how we come up with the number.
“Now, the federal government can help us improve this process, because right now we don’t have the ability to check based on Social Security numbers. If the federal government would give us access to the last four digits of Social Security numbers for the people who are in America legally, but not legally allowed to vote because they’re not citizens, we can improve this.”
Husted told CNN that some non-citizens vote illegally because they want to impact an election.
“Others – they don’t really understand what the rules and the laws are. Somebody asks them to register to vote. They have the documentation that allows them to do that, they get on the rolls illegally and they make a mistake.”
Husted also explained why voter fraud matters: “In Ohio over the last 4 years, we’ve had 112 elections at the local level that have been decided by one vote or tied.
“So we have a lot of close elections. We want to make sure that the integrity of the elections is upheld. But we also want to have the facts so we can put it in the proper context and people can feel comfortable that while it is a problem, it’s not as big of a problem as they might have otherwise thought.”