Is Minnesota's Secretary of State Making Criminals Out of Innocent People?

Oct 31, 2010, 16:01 ET from Minnesota Majority Network

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Minnesota Majority presented information suggesting that noncitizens in Minnesota are potentially being registered to vote without their knowledge. "Our understanding of Minnesota's election laws is that it is a crime to register to vote if you are ineligible, but it looks like some people who are becoming registered to vote automatically are not eligible," said Jeff Davis, President of Minnesota Majority. "This begs the question of whether our government officials are making criminals out of innocent people."

At today's press conference, Ian Hodge presented a copy of a Postal Verification Card (PVC) he had recently received in the mail.  Mr. Hodge, a British citizen, has been a legal Green Card resident of the United States for past 40 years. PVC cards are mailed by county auditors to newly registered voters to verify their address.

"We happened to learn of this issue thanks to a concerned citizen – a neighbor of Mr. Hodge – who was aware of our Election Integrity Watch program," said Davis. "The question is just how extensive a problem this is.

"Thankfully, Mr. Hodge is an honest individual and was willing help expose this problem in the hope it can be corrected.  But how many other noncitizens are being issued these registrations and then either knowingly or unknowing going to vote.  From what we have seen of the vulnerabilities in our election system, it's obvious that situations like this are slipping though the cracks."

Minnesota Majority has been attempting to ascertain how many non-citizens are on the voter rolls and how many may have voted in the 2008 election by comparing visa expiration data on the Department of Public Safety's drivers license database with the voter history records, but DPS has been resistant, refusing to comply with lawful data practices act requests for a narrowly tailored data set that isn't classified as "private" or "non public" and that would allow Minnesota Majority to research voting and voter registrations by non-citizens.

"This demonstrates the need for this check. We learned of Mr. Hodge by chance and through public awareness of Election Integrity Watch program. A cross check between DPS' data on non-citizens and the voter rolls is needed in order to get to the bottom of this," said Davis, who promised to continue pursuing legal options to obtain the DPS data on non-citizens.

SOURCE Minnesota Majority Network