Hillary isn’t going to like this. A new report has come out shortly after the forming of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
It found that more than 5,000 people were determined non-U.S. citizens registered to vote in Virginia.
That’s a lot of people, if you ask us.
Dubbed a “sequel” to a similar 2016 effort, the latest study found 5,556 voters were “quietly removed” from the records for reasons related to non-citizenship “between 2011 and May 2017,” according to an advanced look at the findings provided by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF).
Of the total registered, one-third of unlawful voters managed to cast ballots—leading to a total of more than 7,400 illegal votes cast, according to the report.
The report details how many of the individuals’ citizenship (or lack thereof) was slowly discovered, most of them accidentally according to the report, by local officials.
In Virginia, applicants for voter registration are not required to prove they are U.S. citizens, they only have to claim to be.
And this is more common around the country, with many states following this lead.
The report did indicate that Virginia shares information when a claimed citizen indicates their citizenship otherwise to a separate state agency.
At that point, a removal procedure begins.
In the absence of regular data-sharing arrangements between federal officials and the Commonwealth, the ability of election officials to identify aliens on the voter rolls is almost nonexistent.
The most that happens in Virginia is that an alien on the voter rolls will sometimes tell the state DMV they are not a citizen.
Without those leads, counties and municipalities must accept false claims of citizenship on their face.
The authors also shared with this reporter examples of how some ineligible noncitizens admitted their immigration statuses at the outset, but were still registered to vote.
Some illegal registrants lasted on the rolls for years–risking possible deportation–until they were discovered.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a total of three lawsuits across the commonwealth in 2016 in order to obtain the information necessary to conduct their study.
The group claims that political interference from officials loyal to Governor Terry McAuliffe delayed their efforts.
J. Christian Adams, who is a former Department of Justice attorney and President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said in a statement:
“At the instruction of Governor McAuliffe’s political appointees, local election officials spent countless resources to prevent this information from spilling into the open. Virginia hid critical information that would have improved election integrity while a political operative-turned-governor vetoed numerous proposals that would’ve prevented alien registration and voting.”
A release notes that local clerks were advised to reject PILF’s requests for information, citing the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act as a justification to prevent full disclosure, since some noncitizens outed themselves when receiving driver’s licenses.
That effort reportedly failed when the organization sued some northern and central Virginia officials.
The “alien voting” report arrives at an interesting time. In addition the presidential commission announced that plans to study similar problems around the country, Virginia is also due to hold statewide elections in November 2017.
It is a felony, both at the state and federal level, for a non-citizen to vote. A person who attempts to break this law is subject to deportation.
The organization was unable to find any evidence that those who were illegally registered or voted faced any prosecution. To our knowledge, they got away with their crimes.
Virginia Voters Alliance was also credited with assisting in the research.
Oh by the way…
Hillary won Virginia by a small percentage.