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A noted election watchdog analyst made an alarming claim during an interview Friday that he says could dramatically impact the outcomes of elections next year.
J. Christian Adams, president of the watchdog group Public Interest Legal Foundation, told “Just the News, No Noise” TV show that his group has uncovered tens of thousands of non-citizens registered to vote in several battleground states, including Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Maricopa County, Arizona, the state’s largest.
He did clarify that in Georgia, non-citizens tried registering to vote, but their ballots were placed in pending status after proof of citizenship could not be found.
“Pennsylvania has been covering up for years, the tens of thousands of aliens who got on the voter rolls there for 20 years,” Adams said, further alleging that acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt “knows the truth and won’t tell it.”
In 2017, Schmidt, a Republican serving as a Philadelphia city commissioner at the time, testified before a Pennsylvania Senate committee that there were more than 100,000 instances where voter registration records matched state driver’s license numbers with Immigration and Naturalization Service indicators, the outlet reported.
While the matches do not mean all of those found were registered to vote, Schmidt nonetheless argued at the time, per CBS News: “We’re not talking about an insignificant number here. We’re talking about a potentially very significant number of thousands and tens of thousands.”
Just The News noted further:
The Pennsylvania Department of State announced in September 2017 that records indicated 1,160 non-citizens had since 1972 requested their voter registrations be canceled.
Adams said the “vast majority” of non-citizens “are motor voter registrations” – referring to the 1993 National Voter Registration Act that made it easier for people applying for a driver’s license to also register to vote.
The second most-common way for non-citizens to get onto voter rolls is third-party registration drives by nonprofits, Adams said.
He also alleged that many non-citizens “lie” about their citizenship status when they go into Department of Motor Vehicles offices to “get registered” to vote.
“Some people, guys, say, ‘no,’ and they still get registered to vote,” Adams said. “I’ve just got stacks of voter registration forms. People will actually say, ‘no, I’m not a U.S. citizen.’ They still get on the voter rolls.”
His organization initially sued Pennsylvania in 2018 to get access to voter registration rolls. And last year, PILF said it filed the suit after the state “publicly admitted that due to an alleged programming ‘glitch’ the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had allowed foreign nationals to register to vote for decades.”
His organization said at the time it “sought the voting history of more than 1,100 non-citizen registrants who self-reported their ineligibility and requested cancellation of their voter registrations.”
In March 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a ruling stating that the commonwealth was obligated to furnish the records to PILF. However, the state has appealed that ruling, Just the News reported.
In a recent report by PILF on voter roll records in Maricopa County, the group revealed that since 2015, 222 voter registrations of foreign nationals have been canceled. Among them, nine individuals managed to cast a total of 12 ballots over four federal elections.
He added that hundreds of self-reporting foreign nationals who were registered to vote in the country are just “the tip of the iceberg, because there’s gonna be lots of people who don’t write in and say, ‘I’m a non-citizen.’”
North Carolina is another state that historically has a similar problem with voter rolls. Last year, his organization sued and reached a settlement with the state to release voting records of non-citizens.
“These records conclusively show that foreigners have been registering to vote and are voting in North Carolina elections,” Adams said at the time. “It is a shame our efforts to disclose these records were met with such resistance by election officials.”