Showing he’s taking voter fraud seriously, Ohio’s secretary of state recommended Wednesday that 17 non-citizens who voted in the 2012 presidential election be prosecuted.
Secretary of State Jon Husted has also found 274 others who remain on voter rolls, and he’s looking for more, Fox News re[prted.
Ohio was an important swing state in 2012. When it was called for President Obama, that was pretty much the end of the ball game for his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney. Obama took the state by just two percentage points.
"I have a responsibility to uphold election law, and under both federal and state law, you must be a citizen to vote," Husted said, according to Fox News.
And he's not just seeking out non-citizens. Fox reported:
As part of Ohio's efforts to clean up the voting rolls, election officials discovered that more than 257,000 dead people were still listed as active voters. Their names and status, Husted said, have since been removed.
In addition, election authorities note they have drastically reduced the number of duplicate registrations, from 340,000 in 2011 to just four this past November -- and that more than 370,000 Ohio voters who have moved have been contacted to update their voting information.
"Now that we have the ability to cross-check citizenship information with Ohio's voter rolls, I will continue to be vigilant and to push the General Assembly for additional tools to modernize our elections systems, making it easy to vote and hard to cheat," Husted told Fox.
The 17 cases referred for prosecution aren’t the first in the Buckeye state. Election officials successfully prosecuted several others since the November 2012 election, including a poll worker accused of voting six times.
The worker, Melowese Richardson, was convicted on four counts and is serving a five-year prison term. Prosecutors said she voted in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections in the name of her sister, who has been comatose since 2003, according to Fox News. In 2012, she voted under multiple names, including that of her granddaughter, India Richardson, who told Fox News, "It wasn't a big deal."
A Cincinnati man was also sentenced after pleading guilty to voter fraud, Fox reported.
Liberals claim voter fraud investigations cast a chilling effect on minorities exercising their right to vote, and are little more than thinly-veiled voter suppression. Conservatives argue that they’re only legitimizing the process.