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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

LWV Ohio Reassures Voters Amid Secretary Husted's Allegations

Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Notes only 0.001% of votes in question, and not yet proven

Columbus, OH - Today, the League of Women Voters of Ohio responded to a report issued by Secretary of State Husted that alleged a small number of possible non-citizens were on the voter registration rolls.
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"Secretary Husted began his statement by saying 'it is important to inform our discussions with facts,' and on that point we agree," said Carrie Davis, LWVO Executive Director.
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"Based on Husted's report, he claims to have identified 385 alleged non-citizens on the voter registration rolls and 82 alleged votes cast. Let's put that in context," Davis said. "In November 2016, Ohio had 7,861,025 registered voters and, of those, 5,607,641 cast ballots in the November election. Husted's 385 registered amounts to 0.004898% of total registered voters, and his alleged 82 votes cast amount to 0.001462% of the 5,607,641 total votes cast in November 2016. Husted himself noted in his statement that 'none of the cases where a non-citizen is [alleged] to have cast a ballot occurred in jurisdictions where an election was decided by one vote or tied.'"
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"Furthermore, it is important to remember that what Husted put forward today are allegations. These cases have not yet been investigated by law enforcement or heard by a court," Davis continued. "In this country, we believe in due process to get to the bottom of what did or did not happen. We don't know how many of these people may be recently naturalized citizens. Nor do we know how many of these people may have been told they were allowed to register and acted on bad information. At this stage, these are merely allegations that are being forwarded for further investigation by law enforcement, who will then decide if any type of prosecution is warranted." 

"What is also troubling is the manner in which the Secretary's office announced its allegations," Davis concluded. "In the current highly-charged political environment of border walls, bans on who may enter the country, and immigration raids, it is deeply troubling that a state government office would choose to issue a statement in bold letters proclaiming unlawful activity by non-citizens. Surely, the Secretary's office could have found a less inflammatory way of stating that the office scrutinizes voter rolls for possible errors."