Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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22 face prosecution for double voting

153 irregularities reported in Ohio

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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Friday that 22 people have been referred for prosecution for voting both in Ohio and in another state in 2016.

The 22 cases emerged from a statewide total of 153 voter irregularities reported to the secretary of state by the counties.

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Husted

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Three of the 153 irregularities came from Lucas County.

The Husted report also included three irregularities in Hancock County, two in Seneca County, and one in Erie County, but none of the 22 who allegedly voted in another state and in Ohio was identified as from northwest Ohio.

“We reviewed every reported case of voter suppression and voter fraud and are sharing those facts to inform the discussion on election integrity," Mr. Husted said.

“Once again our review shows that while rare, voting fraud does occur. But more importantly, we are holding those accountable who violate our election laws,” Mr. Husted said.

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order launching a commission to review alleged voter fraud and voter suppression. He has claimed, without offering evidence, that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

The names of voters referred to the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office were not disclosed. Jeff Lingo, chief of the special units division for the prosecutor’s office, said he received the referrals Friday and will turn them over to a grand jury if warranted.

The Lucas County Board of Elections voted in December to refer three voters who voted twice for possible prosecution. All three voted on a machine and by provisional ballot, although only one vote was recorded. Officials said they wanted to know whether the double votes were because of confusion or fraudulent intent.

In February, the secretary of state found evidence of 303 noncitizen voters registered in Ohio and 82 noncitizens who cast ballots, including five in Lucas County.

He referred the 82 for prosecution and gave the other 303 the opportunity to voluntarily remove themselves from the voter rolls before facing potential legal action.

The tally of irregular votes is minute compared to the total number of voters who cast ballots in 2016 — 200,973 in Lucas County and 5.6 million statewide.

The president’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will examine allegations of improper voting and fraudulent voter registration, and Vice President Mike Pence will chair the panel. One of Mr. Husted’s predecessors, Republican Ken Blackwell, is on that commission.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058 or on Twitter @TomFTroy.

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