Please note the opinions written below are not the opinion of Miami County Liberty but are solely those of Ohio Voter Integrity Project and rewritten to promote discussion and provoke thought.
Ohio Voter Integrity was asked for our opinion about how Ohio’s elected officials, Secretary of State (SOS) Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine, have worked to improve voter integrity and investigate and prosecute voter fraud.
The following comments come completely from our own experiences over the past 6 years as leaders of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project (Ohio VIP), a non-partisan, nonprofit 501 (c) (4) organization. Because of our tax status, we cannot endorse candidates and therefore do not endorse either 2018 Ohio gubernatorial candidate mentioned here.
When evaluating the performance of the SOS or AG, it is important to
understand a few of the responsibilities and limitations of these two elected positions with respect to elections.
Ohio Secretary of State:
• Is the chief election officer for the State of Ohio
• Makes sure that Ohio and Federal election laws are correctly interpreted and followed by the county Boards of Elections (BOEs)
• Gives directives, advisories and memos to the County BOEs to help them to interpret and implement new or revised election laws.
• Does not make election law. That is the job of the Ohio Legislature.
• Does not have the authority to interfere with the county BOEs unless:
ο They request his help on a matter,
ο A BOE needs his vote to break a tie
ο He determines that the County BOE is not operating under existing election laws.
Ohio Attorney General:
• Is the chief law officer for the state of Ohio
• Is responsible for prosecuting cases of election fraud that are
referred to him by the Ohio Secretary of State and other sources
• May refer election cases to the counties for prosecution
• Has the power to prosecute any and all election cases that occur within the state.
Our Experiences with Jon Husted and Mike DeWine:
• Has worked to make Ohio voter records more complete and accurate
• Was sued in 2012 by Judicial Watch and True the Vote to clean up Ohio’s voter rolls since there were more registered voters than eligible voters in several Ohio counties.
• In response to this suit, Jon Husted implemented the use of outside databases to help identify deceased voter records, double registered voters, non-citizen voters, and more.
• Between 2013 and 2017, his office found 821 non citizens registered to vote
o Of the 821 non citizen registered voters, 126 cast ballots and were
referred to the AG for investigation
o The remaining 695 non-voting registered non-citizens were sent
letters to cancel their voter registrations. Any non-citizens that did
not cancel their voter registration were sent to the AG for prosecution.
• Helped to combat voter registration fraud by working with the legislature to pass and implement online voter registration. Because of the stringent requirements for registrations made online, Ohio VIP is in favor of Ohio’s online voter registration.
• One of three Secretaries of State who spoke out to President Obama and Congress about the need to give states access to citizenship information held by Homeland Security. This would give states the ability to find non-citizen voters on their voter rolls. BTW, No response ever received from President Obama.
• Over the past 7 years, The Northeast Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), ACLU, Ohio Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters and other organizations have regularly taken SOS Husted to court over the following:
o The use of the supplemental process for removing inactive voters
from the roll as prescribed by Federal Law.
o Early voting days and times that were changed in 2014 by the Ohio Legislature
• Secretary Husted and his staff have been very receptive to working with Ohio VIP by discussing our concerns and ideas and providing requested public records.
• Ohio VIP has had very little contact with Mike DeWine and the AGs office
• We have asked for the disposition of the non-citizen voting cases (2013 and 2015) but have received no response. The AG office told us they couldn’t give us information on active cases however the cases we inquired about were not active. Still no information from the AG.
• We also contacted the county prosecutors about these non-citizen voters. Other than in Hamilton County, few to none of these cases were ever prosecuted.
• In cases not prosecuted by the counties, we feel that the AG should have prosecuted non-citizen voting cases at the state level since the office has jurisdiction to do so.