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Oregon’s voting integrity in question ahead of Election Day

Could Oregon’s elections be decided by illegal voters?

Oregon wants to make it easy for everyone to vote—so easy that they let anyone vote and may even send voters multiple mail-in ballots.

In the last legislative session, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown submitted legislation called “Universal Voter Registration.” Under that scheme, if you were present in Oregon, you would automatically be registered to vote and get a ballot. You would have to opt out if you were a non-citizen.

But while that bill died, the specter of voter fraud  lives. State Rep. Sal Esquivel has raised questions about how the state tracks the citizenship of prospective voters.

Since Oregon uses Department of Motor Vehicles records to verify voter registration, and the DMV is collecting citizenship documents, you would think that citizenship status would have been verified as valid or invalid. Rep. Sal Esquivel did some research and found that was not the case.

The database the state uses to verify voters contains citizens that have been verified, citizens that have not been verified, and non-citizens that are “legally present.” If the person is in this database, their voter registration will be accepted. So non-citizens can be verified as valid voters.

Voter fraud is built into the system in Oregon because there is no one checking for citizenship. It’s very plain to see. There is no proof required with the paper ballot if you want to vote for state and local measures.

HAVA compliance (Help America Vote Act, a federal requirement for anyone voting in federal elections) requires some ID. It is minimal. A government document with your name on it or a utility bill will do.

But Oregon historically has about 14,000 people that have not even met this standard, according to the Secretary of State’s office. These are the NON-HAVA voters. They can vote on all state and local candidates and measures.

VOTER FRAUD: Are non-citizens voting in elections? (Shutterstock Image)

VOTER FRAUD: Are non-citizens voting in elections? (Shutterstock Image)

The voter registration card has the verbiage on it that declares the applicant is a citizen if they sign the card, but not everyone will see it.

Their signature is the only verification on that card. The state doesn’t attempt to verify citizenship.

If these systems are not easy enough to work around you can use the Federal Postcard Application. It asks (line 4) for the Oregon Driver’s License and Social Security number, but if you read the instructions, it says if you don’t have the ODL or Social Security numbers to leave it blank and the Elections Division will give you a number. You don’t have to qualify for anything accept having a valid mailing address.

No one ever checks for citizenship. It is all an honor system.

Oregonians, along with the rest of the nation, would understandably be frustrated to find out there are non-citizens deciding our elections.

About  700,000 may have voted in 2008 across the nation, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study:

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

This is effecting many other states. We see Maryland suing their officials for non-citizens voting there. North Carolina also reportedly has had non-citizens voting, aided by officials. Those may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Every vote cast by a non-citizen, every double vote, or any other unqualified vote takes away some other citizen’s right to have their vote count. It takes away the legitimacy of our elected officials’ authority and erodes the rule of law.

Without Rep. Esquivel checking on the system, we would not know about Oregon’s lack of accountability. It’s not the first time he has stood for constitutional issues against those who would subvert our laws.

In this last legislative session, he spoke about the duty of legislators to abide by the Constitution during deliberation over SB 833. That bill, which would later become Measure 88, would give driver’s licenses to those who “cannot prove legal presence.”

Rep. Esquivel became one of the chief petitioners for Measure 88 to bring the issue before the people this Election Day.

The goal of voter ID is to make sure only eligible voters can vote. Giving licenses to non-citizens would make that goal more difficult to achieve, even in a non-voter ID state like Oregon.

Last May, Rasmussen released a poll showing that 78 percent of Americans wanted Voter ID. In other polls, the lowest was 70 percent and and one as high as 83 percent. Americans seldom have this high degree of agreement on anything.

We’ll find out  Tuesday if voters on Oregon share the nation’s sentiments on election integrity.

Featured image from Shutterstock 

Categories: Courts & Law, Elections, Must Read, News, Politics
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