To further prove the point that elections have consequences and we are in a new world of election law and litigation, compare two news stories from this week. First, the Trump administration has dropped the Department of Justice's opposition to Texas' voter ID law on the basis that it is intentionally racially discriminatory, to give the state time to amend the law. Second, North Carolina's new Democrat governor and attorney general are attempting to withdraw (potentially unethically) the pending petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court regarding the Fourth Circuit's decision last summer striking down North Carolina's voter ID law.
Opponents of voter ID laws claim that they are not needed because vote fraud doesn't happen, but when voting and voter registration records are investigated, both illegal voting and the potential for it are uncovered. An investigation by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has uncovered hundreds of non-citizens registered to vote in the state, 82 of whom have voted in at least one election in the last year:
“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. . . .
“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 none of the cases where a non-citizen cast a ballot occurred in jurisdictions where an election was decided by one vote or tied.
It’s possible for a non-citizen to register to vote in Ohio if they lie about their status on the voter registration form.
And there may be more non-citizen registered voters and actual voters than what this investigation found:
Husted’s review is able to identify people who have registered to vote as citizens but obtained a driver’s license as a non-citizen. . . . And Husted admits there are likely other non-citizens registered to vote in Ohio but are not in the BMV’s system.
That’s why he has appealed to Washington for access to a federal Homeland Security database…
“If we had access to that information we could prevent this in advance and we could find out what the probably bigger number is of people who are on the voter rolls or who have voted and shouldn’t be.”
We applaud Secretary Husted for taking the problem of non-citizen registration and voting seriously and endeavoring to keep Ohio's voter registration records clean. And we look forward to the Trump administration cooperating with states' efforts to ensure the integrity of their elections, instead of fighting them as the federal government has for the past eight years.