Ohio Official Warns Obama: Executive Amnesty Could Harm Election Integrity

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AP Photo/Nick Ut

President Obama’s recent executive amnesty has increased the risk that non-citizens could register to vote and illegally participate in elections, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says.

Husted raised his concerns about the integrity of Ohio’s elections in the wake of the administration’s executive amnesty in a recent letter to Obama and one of his senior advisors Valerie Jarrett.

“In spite of our diligence maintaining accurate voter registration rolls, however, the recent executive actions could jeopardize their integrity by making it much easier for people who are not U.S. citizens to illegally register and cast ballots,” Husted wrote in a letter dated January 27. “As the chief elections official for the state of Ohio, I simply cannot allow this expanding loophole to go unaddressed.”

According to Husted, the fact that Obama’s executive amnesty will enable millions of illegal immigrants to obtain Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses represents the root of the problem, as under federal law any person with those forms of identification can register vote if they claim eligibility.

“In short, by enabling millions of non-citizens to access valid forms of the types of identification required to register to vote, the recent executive actions have increased the risk that non-citizens may illegally register to vote and vote in our elections,” he wrote.

Husted’s office notes that after the 2012 presidential election, it was able to cross-reference data with the state’s DMV and determine that 291 non-citizens were registered to vote in the state. Of those, 17 cast ballots.

The Ohio Secretary of State also requested that, should the executive amnesty remain in effect, the administration work with states to tamp down potential voter fraud. Specifically he asked that elections officials be provided with access to databases of non-citizens with valid Social Security numbers.

“The debate over voter fraud and voter access already breeds significant hyperbole from across the political spectrum,” he wrote. “Your recent executive actions will invite even more, and have very real and lasting implications for the integrity of our elections.”

Ohio is one of dozens of states participating in a lawsuit seeking to stop Obama’s executive actions.