And we have yet another state with conservative officials who claim there’s a massive voter fraud problem, especially with non-citizens voting, that did a big investigation that found virtually no evidence of such fraud whatsoever. This time it’s Ohio, in a repeat from Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, Maine and other states.
Forty-four non-citizens may have voted illegally in Ohio at some point since 2000.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has been on a mission to weed out purported voter fraud in the state since he took office in 2011. After launching an investigation into what he called an “expanding loophole” allowing non-citizens to vote in Ohio and potentially decide elections, he announced Thursday that 145 non-citizens were registered to vote illegally in 2014, amounting to just .0002 percent of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state.
Husted’s office would not provide any information about the 27 people it referred to the Attorney General’s office for further review. But in 2013, his office sent 17 potential cases — .0003 percent of total ballots cast in the state — to the AG who eventually referred them to county prosecutors. Most reports of voting irregularities were dropped by the county prosecutors because the “voter fraud” problems were determined to have been caused by simple mistakes and confused senior citizens, according to a Cleveland Plain Dealer investigation…
In total, only four people were convicted of voting fraud as a result of the 2013 investigation, Eve Mueller, the deputy director of communications for the Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, told ThinkProgress. Mueller said the office could not comment on the ongoing investigations into the newly announced cases.
“In all of the instances where potential voter fraud has been brought up, even outside of undocumented people who may be voting… the prosecutors have said, ‘this is not a person who was really trying to defraud the system. They made an innocent mistake and this is not what voter fraud really is,’” Ohio ACLU Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner told ThinkProgress. “I suspect that once a lot of these other cases that Secretary Husted has pointed out really come under scrutiny, most of them will not end up in convictions or prosecutions and again the number will be really small.”
This is what always happens. They hold press conferences announcing investigations to find that “rampant” voter fraud they think — or at least claim — exists, but the investigation finds a tiny, tiny number of actual cases, most of which were not fraud but innocent mistakes (a legal immigrant goes to the DMV to get a license, they ask if he wants to register to vote so he assumes he must be allowed to and says yes, for instance. A few of these out of millions and millions of voters are bound to slip through the cracks, but no one is trying to do anything illegal and it has no effect on the outcome of any election).
But that will do nothing at all to prevent them from still declaring that there are huge numbers of people voting illegally. The Bush DOJ spent 8 years aggressively looking for voter fraud cases to prosecute and came up with virtually nothing. But they still make the claim that voter fraud is common because they need that to justify laws that make it much harder for people to vote because those people are likely not to vote for them.