Instead of deferring to a U.S. attorney general who is not serious about enforcing the law against voter fraud, Ohio’s Republican secretary of state should have prioritized ballot integrity, Anita MonCrief, a former ACORN employee turned conservative activist, said in a phone interview. It is now clear that dead and ineligible voters will remain on the voter rolls in a state that could decide today’s presidential election.
Under Section 7 of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA),, state social welfare agencies are required to offer potential voters registration forms while they seeking other government services. This part of the law is commonly known as “motor voter.” But under Section 8 of the NVRA, state officials are required to maintain and update voter roles as a safeguard against fraudulent efforts. This means they must purge the rolls of dead voters and ineligible voters who have moved.
But attorney general Eric Holder, and other top officials within the U.S. Justice Department, according to several attorneys who previously worked in the Voting Section of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division including Christopher Coates and J. Christian Adams. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has also accused the Obama DOJ of “selectively enforcing” motor voter while ignoring Section 8.
In February, Judicial Watch sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted presenting evidence that his state was not in compliance with the requirements of Section 8 under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Section 8 calls for state officials to purge the names of dead and ineligible voters from the rolls. After reviewing U.S. Census data, Judicial Watch found that a total of 34 counties had unusually high registration figures. The problem is particularly acute in Auglaize, Wood, and Morrow counties where the number of individuals listed on the voter registration forms exceeds 100 percent of the total voting age population.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said that in his response to the Section 8 allegations Secretary Husted wrote back to Judicial Watch that his office had been “hampered… by the restrictions and seemingly inconsistent provisions of the NVRA” and that he had a written letter to Attorney General Holder seeking guidance.
“The whole point of having a secretary of state and having someone in that position is to enforce the law and if you’re compromising on a critical question like this than it says to me you cannot be trusted,” MonCrief said. “We are talking about something that could decide outcome of the presidential election. Ohio could make all the difference.”
MonCrief is a former employee of ACORN’s Project Vote affiliate. She testified against both Project Vote and ACORN in 2008 as part of a voter registration fraud case in Pennsylvania. She is a now a senior advisor to True the Vote, a grassroots group based in Houston, Texas that favors ballot integrity initiatives. Judicial Watch and True the Vote have filed a lawsuit against Ohio state officials citing Section 8 violations. They have filed a similar suit against state officials in Indiana.
“Secretary Husted is just trying to come down the middle and avoid controversy,” MonCrief said. “He has future political ambitions and that’s what he’s trying to protect. But he should be protecting his constituents from voter fraud. If the election is stolen for President Obama, it will be stolen in Ohio.”