Dozens of non-U.S. citizens may have voted in Bexar County elections, a county elections official reported, prompting an investigation by federal and local authorities.Now there are several ways to look at this matter.
The names of 330 noncitizens on the voter rolls were reported by Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen.
Those named had received jury duty summonses but told the court they weren't eligible to serve because they were not U.S. citizens.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, requested Mr. Callanen's report in an administrative subpoena. And the Bexar County district attorney's office is investigating whether as many as 41 of those noncitizens voted in more than a dozen local, state and federal elections since 2001.
"You bet your bottom dollar we'll prosecute ... if we find people voted illegally in violation of the state election code," Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed said.
The 330 names have since been removed from voter rolls, Mr. Callanen said.
Investigators with customs enforcement are trying to locate and interview those named.
The agency also is looking into false citizenship claims, said spokeswoman Nina Pruneda.
First, these individuals may very well be citizens who don't want to serve jury duty. In which case they lied to a judge and they will get in even more hot water.
Second, these people may have inadvertantly "checked the box" on a Motor Voter registration form. You don't have to be a citizen to get a driver's license and it could have been an honest mistake. In which case, given the numbers of people, if motor voter is a problem, teh state of Texas needs to look at their form design.
Third, these people did fraudulantly register as voters. This is not voter fraud, but registration fraud, which while serious, is not "disenfranchising" other voters. Registration fraud can be combatted by more stringent citizenship verification efforts.
Fourth and finally, these people did not impersonate themselves and indeed, we don't know if they actually voted in the election. If they did, that is a violation of the law, but I am not sure it is voter fraud. Furthermore, as teh story notes, there is no immediate information on whether they influenced the outcome of any vote. If these people did vote, they influenced the totals, but the results are in question.
Hat Tip: Prof. Hasen.