Conservative media figures pointed to the news that 145 immigrants' names were flagged on North Carolina's voter rolls as proof of potential voter fraud in the upcoming election. But the discovery of these names actually disproves the potential for voter fraud, as the state's board of election is now confirming the citizenship of individuals who were flagged.
NC DMV Discovered Names Of 145 Immigrants Who Received Deferred Deportation On Voter Rolls
Associated Press: North Carolina DMV Review Turned Up 145 Possibly Ineligible Voters. On October 21, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) found the names of 145 immigrants who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the state's voter rolls. The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBOE) plans to verify their citizenship. From AP:
A review by the Department of Motor Vehicles has found 145 voters who are ineligible in North Carolina because of questions about their immigration status.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1nyZcRy) the DMV searched its records for drivers under a federal program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
State Elections Board spokesman Josh Lawson says the agency will send letters to those 145 people asking for documentation that they are United States citizens. [Associated Press, 10/22/14]
Conservative Media Hype Ineligible Voter Discovery As Proof Of Potential Voter Fraud
Fox News Legal Analyst: Does This Mean "Illegal Immigrants ... Can Vote In North Carolina?" On the October 24 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. asked a Republican state representative from North Carolina about the “shocking discovery” of illegal immigrants on the voter rolls in North Carolina “courtesy” of the Obama administration's DACA program. He also wondered whether the discovery means “illegal immigrants” will be able to vote:
JOHNSON: Early voting kicked off in North Carolina yesterday following a shocking discovery by the state's election board. 145 illegal immigrants are on the voter rolls courtesy of the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA
How can this be possible? How are there illegals registered to vote in North Carolina and does it appear to be a bigger problem, even nationally?
Under that program, you're entitled to drivers licenses and even work papers. But does that mean that you can vote in North Carolina? You have to be a citizen, don't you? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/24/14]
Laura Ingraham Asked If The Existence Of Immigrants On NC Voter Rolls Is One Of "Various Nefarious Attempts To Fraud The Vote." Discussing “the latest instances of voter manipulation ballot fraud” with J. Christian Adams on her radio program, ABC News and Fox News contributor Ingraham brought up the 145 immigrants on the voter rolls in NC:
INGRAHAM: We're going to talk about these latest instances of voter manipulation, ballot fraud. We saw that James O'Keefe video. We had him on the show yesterday, and on this Friday we are going to try to tie it all together for people. What's really happening out there? Is there various nefarious attempts to fraud the vote?
Well, we find out that ineligible DREAMERs -- you know the DACA executive amnesty the president did back in June of 2012 -- apparently, lo and behold, with North Carolina and that Senate race, Christian, hanging in the balance with Kay Hagan, of course, against Thom Tillis, state election officials say they've discovered 145 names on voting rolls who are ineligible to vote because they are illegal immigrants who are here under DACA. Now I predicted this back in 2012, that they would fast track these people to voting. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 10/24/14]
In Reality, The Discovery Of Potentially Ineligible Voters Is Proof That Voter Verification System Works
Winston-Salem Journal: North Carolina Is Verifying Citizenship Of Flagged Voters With Homeland Security This Week. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the state board of elections is in the process of verifying the citizenship of the 145 immigrants, and plans to have completed the check by October 24. State elections officials are also doubling efforts to make sure voter fraud doesn't occur:
The State Board of Elections expects to find out by Friday how many of the nearly 10,000 names flagged as possible ineligible voters belong to people who apparently are not U.S. citizens, elections officials said Thursday.
At the same time, state elections officials are drafting a line of defense against voter fraud from possible ballots cast by non-citizens and will work with local elections officials as the names become known, according to Lawson.
“The state board is preparing guidance directing elections officials to challenge ballots cast by those identified as non-citizens,” Lawson said.
Uncertainty had reigned over whether the SBOE would be able to cross-check all of the nearly 10,000 names against a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database, known as SAVE, by Election Day because the names had to be checked manually. But state elections officials accelerated the process by creating an automated system, according to Lawson.
By Thursday afternoon, the SBOE had run about half the names, Lawson said.
Of the nearly 10,000 names on the voter rolls, Lawson initially said, 145 belonged to people with DACA licenses. After another day of investigation, Lawson said, the SBOE pared down the number to 119.
In addition to the DACA license holders, the other names on the list of nearly 10,000 belong to license holders who were not U.S. citizens when they got a license. They may have been green-card holders, foreign workers or foreign students, for example. Most have become U.S. citizens since getting a license, according to an estimate by elections officials based on a sample of the overall list.
The state elections board has sampled about 1,600 of the 10,000 names, Lawson said. They cross-checked the names against the Homeland Security database and found that 94 percent of those 1,600 are in fact U.S. citizens, Lawson said. [Winston-Salem Journal, 10/24/14]
As Immigrants Who Received Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Are Not Automatically Granted Right To Vote
DHS: DACA Does Not Grant Citizenship, A Requirement For Voting. Undocumented immigrants who received DACA status were not granted citizenship nor any right to vote. As the Department of Homeland Security states:
An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by DHS to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence. [DHS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 10/23/14]