By Robert Knight
November 15, 2017
If ever there were an election that proved the importance of accurate voter rolls, it was Virginia’s on Nov. 7.
With control of the General Assembly hanging in the balance, at least three Democratic candidates demanded recounts of their Republican opponents’ razor-thin victory margins. One candidate led by 106 votes, another by 86, and a third by only 10.
Another five races were decided by fewer than 900 votes. The Democrats need to flip only two more seats to take control of the lower chamber.
Every vote counts, and every name listed on a voter registration roll can be voted, legitimately or illegitimately.
People who oppose efforts to clean up voter rolls or to check voter IDs say it could discourage some people from voting. But in the rare instance in which someone is removed from the rolls who is eligible to vote, that person can still vote. He can fill out a provisional ballot and furnish proof of residency later. So there is no justification for inaccurate voter rolls.
In 2013, Democrat Mark Herring defeated Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain for attorney general by only 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million votes cast.
Nobody knows how many fraudulent votes are cast in any election, but we do know that literally thousands of ineligible voters are on Virginia’s voter rolls, including illegal aliens and convicted felons.
In 2016, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) investigated registrations in six Virginia counties and two cities and published the findings in a report, “Alien Invasion in Virginia.” PILF found more than 1,040 noncitizens on the voter rolls and that 200 of them voted. If you extrapolate this to the state’s other 127 counties, it suggests that the Old Dominion’s voter rolls are bloated with thousands of ineligible voters.
In May 2017, PILF issued a sequel, “Alien Invasion II,” which found:
Virginia election officials quietly removed 5,556 voters for non-citizenship between 2011 and May 2017.
Eighteen hundred fifty-two of those removed as noncitizens cast ballots.
A total of 7,474 illegal ballots were cast from the pool of removed noncitizens.
Some records of illegal voting date back to the 1980s, way before their respective removals.
“Virginia election officials routinely fail to alert law enforcement about these illegal votes or registrations,” the report said.
In 2016, Virginia Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed six voter integrity bills and in April of that year issued a sweeping order restoring voting rights to 200,000 felons. Assembly Republicans asked constitutional attorney Charles J. Cooper to file a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court, which stopped the scheme.
Nobody knows how many felons were eventually able to register, but we do know they lean heavily to the left.
All this to say Virginia’s voter rolls are not being maintained accurately as required by the National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter Law).
If they are as dirty as indicated by PILF’s study, then it’s a good bet that some of these contested races were decided by fraudulent votes.
In 2008, Democrat Al Franken became the 60th vote for Obamacare by eking out a 312-vote victory over incumbent Minnesota senator Norm Coleman after several squirrely recounts that involved, among other irregularities, ballots found in car trunks. Later, it came out that more than 1,000 convicted felons had voted illegally. I wonder whom they voted for.
The citizens of Virginia deserve to have their votes count, not to have them canceled out because election officials refuse to obey the law.
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.