Abdel showed up in his local Pennsylvania automobile office to take his driver’s license test — and walked out having registered to vote, even though he is not a citizen.
He said his command of English isn’t great, and the computer was uncertain, but he somehow was able to sign up even though he knew he should not.
Then there was Angelo, who guessed he could vote because he combined the U.S. army, even though he wasn’t a citizen. He, too, signed up in the Pennsylvania automobile agency and registered as a Democrat. He then voted nearly every year from 2001 through 2014.
He eventually wrote to Allegheny County asking to be stricken from the rolls, stating he was ineligible altogether.
Angelo and Abdel are a few of the more than 130 individuals the county has nixed from its voter lists lately after finding that they were not U.S. citizens and should not have been permitted to enroll, much less vote, according to a report being released Thursday in the Public Interest Legal Foundation.
Of those, almost 40 went on to vote in elections before they were eliminated from the lists, the foundation found.
The vast majority of the people reported themselves only when they did try to find citizenship or another immigration benefit — also learned that illegal registration or unemployment, both felonies, might be hurdles for their applications.
J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said it is impossible to say how many others have not been caught since they haven’t reported themselves.
“There is no doubt that there’s far more and far worse. These are just the men and women who wrote in [saying],’Since I am not a taxpayer, just take me off the roster.’ These are the men and women who wanted to fix it,” he said. “If you refuse this is happening, you are part of the issue now.”
Indeed, while it is not the massive degree of fraud which President Trump complained about this past year, the 139 cases in 1 county in one country are more than the near-zero degree that the president’s critics have talked about. One local official in Pennsylvania has estimated that 100,000 illegitimate voters are about the states’ rolls, as a result of problems with PennDOT’s system and its inability to weed out fraud.
Inside the 1993 federal”motor voter” law, individuals who show up to renew licenses or transact other business at automobile bureaus should be asked if they want to register to vote. The form depends on the honor system for people to declare they’re citizens.
The goal of the law was to boost election involvement — but also, it muddied voting lists.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation stated there is no proof that the state corrected the errors or alerted local officials that they may have thousands of bogus registrations in their lists.
Pennsylvania’s Department of State stated it’s worked to correct the circumstance, which a spokeswoman said dated back two years, or well before the current Democratic governor’s administration.
This removes the possibility that a non-citizen will unintentionally apply for voter registration due to limited English proficiency or any other reason,” explained Ellen Lyon, deputy director of communications for the division.
The department has contested the 100,000 number. However, they did admit there were some problems, sending notices into 7,702 registered voters questioning whether they were, in fact, eligible voters.
The noncitizen voters identified in the foundation’s report explained how easy it was to get recorded in the first location.
With the help of his wife and attorney, he fired off a letter stating the PennDOT computer’s instructions were in English and, since he did not have a good grasp of the language, he”did not understand that I was registering to vote.”
Turan registered in 2009 as a Democrat and then quickly pinpointed, saying he was astonished that the motor vehicles agency staffer encouraged him to sign up.
[sic]” he said in a letter he dictated to his son. “She shouldn’t offer you any voting enrollment to any foreign person who doesn’t speak English.”
Many noncitizens said state workers gave them the impression that their registration was just a program and figured somebody would verify their answers to find out if they were entitled.
Mark Wolosik, the director of Allegheny County’s elections division, said that somebody isn’t him. He said he is only following state coverage when he approves each of the programs that come to him.
In a statement to The Washington Times, he also stated it’s not his job to police the people he later learns had voted fraudulently. He said he figured the federal citizenship agency would do that.
“The information/self-reporting came via the program for citizenship and, as such, that details and information are in the hands of any agency that would pursue such prosecution,” he said in his statement.
His explanation, however, does not track with the county’s records, which show some of the instances were reported directly to him and weren’t prompted by the national citizenship bureau.
Mr. Adams explained it is irrelevant how he learned about them and that Mr. Wolosik ought to feel a responsibility to report election lawbreakers.
He said he needed to fight Allegheny County for the enrollment information, and he’s still involved in a legal fight with the nation for a broader set of information. He said that rather than working against him, they should be working together with him to clean up their records.
“The better way for the state and local election officials is to say we’ve got an issue and we would like to fix it.
The report discovered that the noncitizens in Allegheny County remained on the rolls a mean of six years before they were removed.
Of the 139 bogus voters, 74 registered as Democrats and only 23 signed up as Republicans. Others were undeclared or identified with a third party.