COLUMBUS -- Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted's office said Feb. 27 that it has identified another 385 non-citizens who registered to vote in Ohio, and 82 of those cast ballots in primary or general elections over the past half a dozen years.
Adding to earlier checks of the voter rolls, that brings the total number of non-citizen voter registrations to 821 and non-citizens who cast ballots to 126 since Husted's office began taking count.
"In light of the national discussion about illegal voting it is important to inform our discussions with facts," Husted said in a released statement after releasing the report Feb. 27. "The fact is voter fraud happens, it is rare and when it happens, we hold people accountable."
He added, "I have a responsibility to preserve the integrity of Ohio's elections system. When you consider that in Ohio we have had 112 elections decided by one vote or tied in the last three years, every case of illegal voting must be taken seriously and elections officials must have every resource available to them to respond accordingly."
Franklin County, home of Ohio's capital city, had the highest number of non-citizen registrations (92), followed by Cuyahoga (61) and Hamilton (22).
Cuyahoga had the highest number of illegal ballots cast by those individuals (16), followed by Franklin County (14) and Hamilton (10).
In Summit County, 17 people who were not citizens registered to vote, two of whom cast ballots in an election, according to Husted's office.
And in Portage County, three non-citizens registered but did not cast ballots.
The non-citizen registrations and voting activities were discovered during reviews of bureau of motor vehicle records. Many of the registrations likely were submitted by accident by immigrants who didn't realize they were breaking the law.
Non-citizens who actually cast ballots were referred to law enforcement for potential prosecution.
Those who registered but did not vote in an election will receive letters asking them to cancel their registrations. And those who fail to do so could face prosecution.
One Democratic state lawmaker remained critical of Husted's latest report, calling it "a sad attempt to bolster the president's lie about massive voter fraud."
Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) added in a released statement, "Secretary Husted's own numbers again prove that ineligible people voting is almost nonexistent. My big concern is: Why are we always hearing about this problem after an election when we can fix it beforehand? My Automatic Voter Registration bill, Ohio House Bill 14, would eliminate the problem of having any ineligible voters on the rolls, but Secretary Husted refuses to support my bill."
The League of Voters of Ohio noted that the alleged non-citizen voters represent a small percentage of the millions of votes cast in the state's elections.
"Furthermore, it is important to remember that what Husted put forward today are allegations," Executive Director Carrie Davis said in a released statement. "These cases have not yet been investigated by law enforcement or heard by a court. In this country, we believe in due process to get to the bottom of what did or did not happen. We don't know how many of these people may be recently naturalized citizens. Nor do we know how many of these people may have been told they were allowed to register and acted on bad information. At this stage, these are merely allegations that are being forwarded for further investigation by law enforcement, who will then decide if any type of prosecution is warranted."
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.