Virginia election officials removed thousands of voters from voter rolls between 2011 and May 2017, according to a conservative legal organization.
In a report released Tuesday, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group, found 5,556 voters were removed because they were noncitizens and that one-third of those removed voted illegally.
Hans von Spakovsky, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a board member of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the findings of the report are alarming.
“This report should concern everyone,” von Spakovsky said, adding:
“It highlights the problem of illegal voting by noncitizens and illustrates the shocking fact that not only do election officials not have any measures in place to prevent this from happening, but that law enforcement apparently has no interest in prosecuting this fraud when it is discovered. And the circumstances of these cases show that what PILF has discovered despite resistance by state officials may only be the tip of the iceberg.”
“This report is timed in a way to … keep the discussion fresh in the voting public’s mind because the reality is, we’re told over and over again that this sort of thing does not happen,” Logan Churchwell, communication’s director at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an interview.
The report also found that 7,474 illegal ballots were cast from the group of removed noncitizens and that some records of illegal voting went back to the 1980s.
According to the report, which was based on voter history documents, record requests, and lawsuits, noncitizens “were caught by happenstance, usually by telling the motor vehicle agency they were not a citizen after previously telling the agency they were a citizen.”
“At the instruction of Gov. [Terry] McAuliffe’s political appointees, local election officials spent countless resources to prevent this information from spilling into the open,” J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said in a statement, adding:
“Virginia hid critical information that would have improved election integrity while a political operative-turned-governor vetoed numerous proposals that would’ve prevented alien registration and voting. From [Northern Virginia] to Norfolk and all urban and rural points in between, alien voters are casting ballots with practically no legal consequences in response.”