By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
RICHMOND, Va. – A crosscheck of voter rolls in Virginia and Maryland turned up 44,000 people registered in both states, a vote-integrity group reported Wednesday.
And that’s just the beginning.
“The Virginia Voters Alliance is investigating how to identify voters who are registered and vote in Virginia but live in the states that surround us,” Alliance President Reagan George told the State Board of Elections.
George acknowledged that the number of voters who actually cast multiple ballots is relatively small. In the case of Maryland and Virginia, he revealed that 164 people voted in both states during the 2012 election.
But George said his group will expand their search for duplicate voters in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Georgia.
“We are also determining the best way to identify non-citizens who have registered to vote and may have voted in past elections,” George said.
Working with the Privileges and Elections committees of the state House and Senate, VVA identified 31,000 dead voters via the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. Subsequent processing by SBE found 40,000 to 60,000 dead voter registrations.
“Dead voter registrations are prime targets for voter fraud which generate few complaints,” George noted.
Appearing with Clara Belle Wheeler of the Albemarle County,Va., Election Board and Jay DeLancy of the North Carolina Voter Integrity Project, George challenged the SBE to:
- Tighten Virginia’s voter ID law that allows absentee voters to use mailed ballots without affirming their identity.
- Check the 50,000-plus patient beds in Virginia nursing homes and rehab centers amid reports of voting irregularities there.
- Require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Kansas and Arizona require this.
- Annually audit felons who are not allowed to vote.
“Certain nonviolent felons, especially those who commit voter fraud, should never be given back their right to vote,” George said.
More broadly, George said, “Virginia must control the registration process, as well as the form used to register voters. The current system is the perfect vehicle for identity theft and ‘lost’ registrations.”
“There needs to be a clearinghouse for all voter fraud referrals statewide,” he said. “The SBE would be the perfect place to assume that role and provide transparency for the public.”
DeLancy and Wheeler urged the board to open its voter-crosscheck data to the public and to publicize cases of voter fraud.
DeLancy said groups that downplay or dismiss the incidence of ongoing voting irregularities use “pretzel logic.”
“If prosecutors don’t prosecute, there’s no ‘crime,'” he noted.
The three-member state board — controlled by Republicans until the end of the year — took VVA’s recommendations under advisement.
Kenric Ward is chief of Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau. Contact him at [email protected] or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward