The debate over noncitizens voting was a hot topic a few years ago in Frederick County, a prosperous Maryland suburb wedged between Washington’s urban metropolis and the state’s rural western gateway to the rest of America.
Conservative activists went to court to show that noncitizens were registering fraudulently to vote. A court employee met their request by turning over pages of residents’ names disqualified from jury duty because of alien status.
When those lists were compared with voting records for just three years — 2007, 2008 and 2011 — nearly 180 noncitizens were found to have registered to vote. Of those, 63 had voted, some in multiple elections. The 180 registered votes came from 1,400 disqualified noncitizens in those three years, a rate of 12.8 percent.
The issue of noncitizen voters has taken on national importance. President Trump, who said 3 million or so voted illegally in November, plans to name a federal task force to investigate.
Frederick County’s numbers offer a limited snapshot from a handful of jury pools, but they indicate that noncitizens are registered to vote and are casting ballots in states, which administer federal, state and local elections.
“Obviously, there are people on the voting rolls who have no business being on the voter rolls,” said conservative activist Daniel M. Gray, a lawyer who filed the lawsuit. “What needs to be determined is how extensive is this. How many noncitizens weren’t summoned for jury duty and went ahead and voted?”
Census data matched to raw survey statistics indicate that as many as 2 million noncitizens could be registered to vote in the U.S.
Liberals dismiss such surveys. A group of political scientists declared that “zero” noncitizens vote in U.S. elections. Washington’s liberal news media used their analysis to pronounce studies showing otherwise as being “debunked.”
But the Frederick County court case deals with real people, not polls, and it shows aliens do indeed vote. And Frederick is not alone.
The Washington Times reported March 1 on two developments in Virginia:
• A state delegate asked 133 local governments to provide numbers on noncitizens disqualified from jury pools. The response was spotty, at best. But Loudoun County reported 9,000 such disqualifications from 2009 to 2014. Since potential juror names come from the Department of Motor Vehicles or voter registration rolls, the figure suggests a significant number of noncitizens voting.
• The Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit against voter fraud, reported on its ongoing investigation. From six Virginia counties and two cities (of a total 133), it found 1,000 noncitizens registered to vote and that 200 of them had voted.
The Frederick County lawsuit was brought to U.S. District Court in Baltimore in 2014 by Mr. Gray, a lawyer in Fairfax County, Virginia, on behalf of four Maryland residents.
His argument: Illegal voters were violating legal voters’ right to due process. This was happening because, as the lawsuit states, “said actions allow plaintiffs’ lawful votes, cast as properly registered voters, to be diluted or canceled by votes cast by people unauthorized to vote under Maryland law.”
The lawsuit asked the federal judge to order Frederick County and the State Board of Elections to take steps to prevent noncitizens from voting.
The case did not go far.
But the court case allowed him to file the data from Frederick County — proof that illegal immigrants, albeit a tiny sporadic sample, vote in Maryland.
“This research is very revealing,” Mr. Gray told The Washington Times. “It means there’s lot more illegal voting than anyone is willing to concede. On the one hand, someone could say, ‘Oh, they are just avoiding jury duty and a convenient reason to do so.’ On the other hand, there’s an admission by them. They are showing they are not citizens of the United States.”
State Delegate Haven N. Shoemaker Jr., Carroll County Republican, has introduced in the Maryland General Assembly the Voter Registration Integrity Act.
It would require the jury commissioner and elections clerks to communicate with each other — something Mr. Shoemaker says they have not been doing. The jury commissioners would provide lists of those who have been excused for noncitizenship, and elections officials would cross-check voter rolls and take steps to remove any names that appear.
“It seems like common sense to me,” he said. “Because we have motor-voter in Maryland, you can go to MVA and register to vote there. And all you have to do is check a box that says you are a United States citizen.”
How many noncitizens vote in Maryland? “We don’t know,” Mr. Shoemaker said. “No one keeps statistics on that.”
Maryland does not ask voters for ID at the polls.
Mr. Shoemaker said the chances are slim that the Democrat-controlled assembly will pass his bill. The Democratic Party nationally embraces illegal immigrants by supporting sanctuary cities and providing driver’s licenses and access to welfare benefits to aliens.
A spokeswoman for the Maryland State Board of Elections did not return an email or a voicemail inquiry.
Mr. Gray said it is relatively easy for noncitizens to register to vote with a driver’s license or other state ID: Simply attest on an online form that you are a U.S. citizen, mail in the form and you are registered. Federal audits show that fraudulent IDs and Social Security numbers circulate among illegal immigrants.
Frederick County, with its 243,000 residents, is becoming more ethnically diverse. Its Hispanic population has increased to 8.4 percent.
One major study has been conducted on noncitizen voting.
An analysis by professors at Old Dominion University, using polling and other data, found that 6.4 percent of noncitizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election. The overall number could be as high as 2 million but also could be much lower.
A national poll of Hispanic U.S. residents in 2013 found that 13 percent of noncitizens said they were registered to vote. Compared to the U.S. census for that year, it could be mean that 800,000 to 2.2 million were registered voters.
In 2013, the census said, 11.8 million noncitizen Hispanics were living in the U.S.