Non-citizens discovered on voting rolls, Bullard calls for changes to law

Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard Jr. released details showing 36 self-professed non-citizens registered to vote in Oakland County. One individual had a history of voting in the recent past. The names came to light as part of a check of jury duty questionnaires and voter registration files.

When completing questionnaires, potential jurors have the opportunity to declare whether they are non-citizens and which nation they are citizens of. A spot check of the questionnaires of the past 3 months against the Qualified Voter File found 36 names of registered voters who profess not to be U.S. citizens.

Bullard is forwarding this information to local clerks to follow procedures to remove their names from the voter registration files. In addition, Bullard is forwarding the evidence to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard to investigate whether any laws were broken.

Bullard said "We have to be vigilant to ensure that we have a zero tolerance policy regarding non-citizens voting in any election or becoming registered voters. Allowing this to continue dilutes the votes of qualified voters and artificially depresses voter turnout statistics. This relatively easy step of comparing voter registration and juror questionnaires could be a very effective way to remove ineligible people from the voter rolls."

Bullard has been in contact with Representative Brad Jacobsen who is exploring introducing legislation requiring these checks on a statewide basis. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has endorsed legislation (Senate Bill 803 sponsored by Senator Darwin Booher) requiring an affirmation of citizenship on the application to vote.

The individual who had voted professes to be a citizen of Canada. They voted in at least five elections.

Published: Thu, May 17, 2012