Grassroots Network of the Republican Party of Virginia

A friend of mine in Falls Church had an interesting election day story. A friend of hers -- a Latina immigrant was lamenting that she was the ONLY member of her extended 12 person family to vote for McCain. Problem is, NONE of them are US citizens. They were registered by a voter registration worker who came to their door (ACORN?) and "helped" them fill out their forms but didn't realize they had to be citizens to vote (they are legal RESIDENTS, but not yet citizens) and their English language skills aren't very strong, so they might not have understood some of the questions on the voter registration form.

Here's my question. What system, if any, is used by local registrars to determine if a registrant is in fact a citizen as opposed to merely resident? Whatever it is, it apparently isn't foolproof, or these folks wouldn't have been able to register. Do they run a merge and purge query against some sort of central list of registered aliens or is it a matter of self-certification and the voter is liable if they misrepresent their status?

With people who register at DMV through "motor voter", there's probably some way of checking, as green cards are one of the forms of ID accepted, but I imagine there could have been a LOT of non-citizens registered by ACORN and similar groups on their doorsteps and at shoppnig centers. Of course, the main proof of identity used at the polling station is one's driver's license -- which only proves residence at the registered address, not citizenship / eligibililty, so in cases like this, it's no safeguard at all.

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These people actually voted? This confirms my worst anxieties about this past election. I had seen many people running around shopping centers with clipboards (Obama stickers on the back) seeking out new applicants, deliberately approaching young and people who appeared to be ethnic minorities. I approached one of them and asked what I needed to register. "Only a driver's license," the worker replied. "What if I'm Canadian?" I asked sarcastically. "That's up to you; we use the honor system," was the answer I got. So, yes, the question is, what happens next. Do those dishonorable applications actually slip through when they reach the registrar? Is there any sort of safeguard? I'm going to ask someone who will probably know at tomorrow night's Hispanic Coalition meeting. I bet Bob McDonnell will know the answer to that question.









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