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.