IMMIGRATION
ACCOUNTABILITY
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS
Letter to the President
by Jon Husted
Ohio Secretary of State



July 8, 2015
 
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
West Wing
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20502
 
Attn: Valerie Jarrett, Asst. to the President


Mr. President:
 
I write as a follow up on my January correspondence regarding your Immigration Accountability  Executive Actions, which give non-citizens access to additional, nationally recognized forms of identification, namely Social Security numbers.
 
As I wrote in my letter and also shared during my testimony before both the U.S. House Subcommittees on National Security and on Healthcare, Benefits and Administrative Rules, my concern lies in the fact that federal law requires election officials across the nation to accept the last four digits of a Social Security number as proof of identity for the purposes of registering to vote.
 
Your Executive Actions will provide an estimated five million additional non-citizens access to Social Security numbers and will only exacerbate our current issue whereby we cannot differentiate between the Social Security numbers held by citizens and the ones held by non­ citizens.
 
Notwithstanding further legislative, executive or judicial action, I again write as Ohio's chief elections officer to request your assistance in solving this problem by providing elections officials access to a real-time, searchable database of non-citizens, including their names, dates of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers. With this information, we can crosscheck our voter rolls and new registrations to ensure only eligible individuals are able to register to vote and cast a ballot in Ohio.
 
This is not only an issue of elections integrity and voter confidence, but also an important safeguard in protecting the records and reputations of those who wish to eventually become full, participating citizens of our country. Their aspirations should not be foiled by an inadvertent violation of the law - that of mistakenly registering to vote before achieving U.S. citizenship.
This is not a mere academic proposition: an Ohio voter recently requested his local election officials cancel his spouse's voter registration after she learned her citizenship application had been denied due to the fact she was registered to vote while not a citizen.

I have taken eve1y step I can to improve the integrity of Ohio's voter rolls under current law and with existing information and resources. As of this writing, my office has identified more than 430 non-citizens registered to vote in Ohio, 44 of whom actually cast ballots in an election.
Without cooperation from the federal government, we cannot know the full extent of the problem, nor can I assure voters in my state that only eligible voters are participating in our
elections.
 
Itis important to reiterate that I do not believe, nor does evidence support, the idea that these numbers represent any widespread, systemic actions by any one group of non-citizens, legally present or not. Any solution must be applied equally and be narrow enough to ensure that no needless barriers are placed in the way of the registration of legally eligible U.S. Citizens. We also have an obligation to build a solution that protects non-citizens from mistakes that may hinder their future prospects of naturalization or continued lawful presence.
 
In the course of the past two years, 75 Ohio elections have been decided by one vote or have tied. There is no margin for error in this matter as there is no acceptable level of illegal voting. With the 2016 Presidential Election fast approaching, we must take action now to send a message to the electorate that every vote matters and that all voters can and should have confidence in the results of our elections.
 
This request is not about immigration, it is about elections and preserving the integrity and laws that govern the democratic process we use to choose our leaders. The federal government created this loophole, and it must now help solve this problem and the festering distrust resulting from it.


Respectfully
Jon Husted