What is Secretary of State Grimes trying to hide by refusing to cooperate with President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Electoral Integrity? She insists that Kentucky’s voter rolls are clean, but refuses to provide the Commission with the information it needs to verify if that is true. Her position is ridiculous given actual evidence of Kentucky voter registration irregularities. What evidence, you might ask?
Let’s start with the findings by our non-profit citizens advocacy organization, Americans First, Inc., which undertook a limited investigation to find out whether any non-citizens are illegally registered to vote in Kentucky. Using information obtained from the Kentucky Department of Motor Vehicles, we compared a list of non-citizens in Fayette and Jefferson counties who obtained driving licenses using Non-US Citizen form TC-94-152 against a list of registered voters on the Secretary of State’s voter registration website. We found 38 people in those two counties alone who applied for a driver’s license using the Non-US Citizen application form who were registered to vote in Kentucky. Could these be non-citizens illegally registered to vote?
We first referred our findings to Secretary of State Grimes’ office which then referred us to the Special Prosecutions Division of the Attorney General’s office. After further review of our findings, they confirmed that several of those we identified were indeed non-citizens who were illegally registered to vote, but neither the Attorney’s General office nor Secretary Grimes took any action against those persons. Most troubling is that all of them are still registered to vote.
Want more evidence Kentucky’s voter rolls are dirty? This past April, Judicial Watch served Secretary Grimes with notice of potential legal action against her office after their investigation determined there are 30 Kentucky counties with more registered voters than citizens over the age of 18 per 2015 U.S. Census Bureau estimates (Click Here ). For example, Boone County has a population of approximately 85,000 persons over 18, but over 100,000 registered voters. This is more evidence that Secretary Grimes is not maintaining clean voter registration records as mandated by the National Voter Registration Act.
There is evidence of voter registration irregularities not just in Kentucky but across the country. For example, The Public Interest Legal Foundation last month released a comprehensive report after its investigation found that Virginia recently removed more than 5,500 non-citizens from voter lists, including 1,852 people who had cast ballots.
And in 2012, a Pew Research study found that approximately 24 million voter registrations – one of every eight registrations in the U.S. – are either no longer valid or significantly inaccurate, that more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters, and that approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.
Much of the illegal voter registration stems from the ease with which a person can register with no verification of eligibility. The voter registration form used in Kentucky and other states merely requires a name, address and a social security number. The registrants simply declare on the form that they are a citizen and not otherwise ineligible, but there is no independent verification of citizenship or whether the social security number given is even valid. In Kentucky, if the social security number given by the registrant doesn’t match one of an existing registered Kentucky voter, the registration is automatically accepted. In effect, the system is essentially designed to facilitate fraudulent registration.
Given the evidence of voter registration fraud in Kentucky and across the country, Secretary Grimes’ refusal to cooperate with the Election Integrity Commission’s request is an inexcusable dereliction of her duty to our citizens. Her stated reason for not cooperating is also completely disingenuous. She was recently quoted as saying, “I’m not going to risk sensitive information for 3.2 million Kentuckians getting in the wrong hands, into the public domain and possibly for the wrong reasons, to keep people away from the ballot box”. Her faked concern is laughable since, for the princely sum of $450, her office will gladly sell to political parties and political action committees essentially the same voter information requested by the Commission.
The President’s commission’s effort to address the problem of illegal registration and voting has been equated with voter suppression. But shouldn’t illegal voting be suppressed? Moreover, none of the efforts to cleanse the voter rolls of illegal registrants will prevent a qualified citizen from voting. Insuring only qualified citizens can vote enhances their electoral power by insuring their votes are not diluted by illegal ones. No American citizen should be opposed to efforts to purge our voter rolls of ineligible registrants to protect the integrity of our electoral process.
So, we again pose the question: with actual evidence of irregularities in Kentucky’s voter registration records, what is Secretary Grimes trying to hide by refusing to cooperate with the President’s Commission?