COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A deep dive into the data for the 2018 general election has resulted in a number of announcements about potential voter fraud over the past few weeks.
Recently, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced 354 noncitizens registered to vote for the mid-term election — more than 70 of them actually did vote.
On Wednesday, Ohio’s top election official released more information about potential voter fraud, this time accusing 18 individuals of casting a ballot in more than one state for the same election.
Of the 18 people that have been referred to prosecutors for potential charges, eight of them cast their first ballot in Ohio.
They won’t face charges in Ohio because a crime is committed when subsequent ballots are cast. That’s why the remaining 10 people could face charges in Ohio after casting their first ballot in another state.
“My admonition to [prosecutors] is, if you find, as I have, that there is a credible case here to show that voter fraud occurred, then you should prosecute because, again, the law in Ohio is very clear on this and voter fraud is a felony. It’s no laughing matter,” LaRose said.
He said the illegal activity was caught by the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a coalition of several states sharing data.
“That wasn’t the case just a few years ago in Ohio. Because of that collaborative that we have through the ERIC system, we’re able to find out if someone votes in another state and votes in Ohio, and that’s exactly what we did with this investigation.”
LaRose went on to say the small number of violations is actually a very good thing.
“It’s important for people to know that both voter fraud and voter suppression are exceedingly rare. Neither one are every acceptable. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue — it’s not a partisan issue. To me, everybody should cast a vote, everybody should make their voice heard in an election but, certainly, only once.”
The identity of the people involved and the other states where the votes were cast are not being shared at this time because it’s still under investigation and no charges have been filed.
We have learned the 10 people who cast their second ballot in Ohio did so in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties once each. Franklin and Hamilton counties both had two violations.