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On handling non-citizen voters . . .

[Note: This story was originally published in the NC Free Press, July 4, 2013]

The Voter Integrity Project of NC and the entire nationwide election integrity movement is far bigger than the single issue of illegal immigration; but once in a while, non-citizen voting becomes a factor. For example, how should the public respond when someone claiming to be an “undocumented immigrant” claims that he has registered 5,000 voters? While that may not be a big deal, he threatened to unleash his 5,000 illegal voters if the Legislature doesn’t hand over some taxpayer money.

That’s the gist of the message from a Piedmont area activist named Moises Serrano, according to a recent WTVD story.

Somewhat of a left-wing media darling, Mr. Serrano, led a group to Halifax Mall in Raleigh that demanded in-state tuition for illegal immigrants attending any of North Carolina’s 76 community colleges and universities; but his not-so-subtle threat is our main concern.

While many pressure groups use similar political tactics, it takes gall for a man to spread the fear of 5,000 “undocumented immigrant” voters unless the Legislature hands over the loot. For the record, few if any Legislators won by 5,000 votes; so the amount is significant. So, what do we do? If our State Board of Elections had one, their Election Fraud Investigation Unit, could jump all over Mr. Serrano’s bluff by digging through the public records to determine exactly who he registered and how many of them committed a felony by voting while not a US citizen.

Here are some investigative steps that such a mythical unit could take to break up Mr. Serrano’s (apparent) criminal abuse of our election laws:

First, they would determine if Mr. Serrano (personally) obtained the registration forms during his voter registration drives? If so, then the control numbers on those forms would help determine the exact names of every single illegal immigrant he claims to have registered. Those names would populate a list called, “Suspects.”

2. Once the actual names of Mr. Serrano’s weaponized voters are obtained, a sincere investigation would involve “data mining” or a mash up between the Suspect List and the NC DMV records in order to answer a few more questions about his alleged “undocumented immigrant” voters.

Specifically, the Election Fraud Unit (that actually doesn’t exist) would need to know how many suspects hold current and valid driver’s licenses. Because of a 2005 law, any who have such DMV products are probably US citizens and should no longer be considered Suspects.

Those not having such a DMV product should remain on the list, because of a 2005 law that began requiring DMV license or ID card applicants to prove their immigration status. Now, except for the elderly and for people new to the state, any of Mr. Serrano’s registered voters still living in North Carolina (without a current and valid state license or ID) are probably not US citizens and should remain on the Suspect List.

3. To winnow things down, the Election Fraud Unit (that STILL doesn’t exist) would match their remaining list of suspects against one other database. It may make us uncomfortable, but when people are suspected of committing a crime, law enforcement agencies are allowed to check their immigration status. And since the actual voters (whom Mr. Serrano implies he illegally registered) are suspected of committing election fraud, somebody needs to confirm their immigration status.

4. And finally, the last step in this imaginary investigation is to refine the list by confirming whether or not anyone on the list actually voted.

Those who never voted should quietly be flagged in the records in case they attempt such a crime in the future. While being illegally registered is not a big crime, anybody caught illegally voting merits referral to the State Bureau of Investigation or (if one exists) to some other agency that actually cares about election fraud.

Under the law, immigrants convicted of a crime know that they can never become a citizen in this great country and that they will be deported back to their home country with extreme prejudice: Such a crime will remain in their records forever.

Ironically, the WTVD print article closed with a quote from Mr. Serrano that went like this: “There’s always some type of danger with coming out about your immigration status publicly, but it’s more dangerous to stay in the shadows.”

If our State Board of Elections actually cares about election fraud, Mr. Serrano get to test that valuation.

If. . . .

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