Thursday, July 12, 2012

SOS Wants Fed Help to Find Non-Citizen Voters

Secretary of State Dianna Duran this week joined with Republican elections officials from several other states in asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help ensure that noncitizens aren’t on voting rolls.
SOS Dianna Duran campaiging in 2010

The request comes just months after Duran’s office reported that a lengthy investigation here found evidence that a handful of noncitizens had cast ballots in New Mexico.

Viki Harrison, executive director of New Mexico Common Cause, when told about a possible new effort to look for non-citizens on voting rolls, said Wednesday, “I think the real crisis in voting is that 50 percent of New Mexicans who are eligible to vote are not registered. And we’re worried about things like this?” She added that voter fraud already is a felony and those who commit it should be prosecuted.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler on Monday wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday, asking the agency to help verify the citizenship status of about 5,000 Colorado voters.

Gessler’s letter said that nine secretaries of state — including Duran — and two lieutenant governors from states where that post oversees elections “share this approach and expect to request” similar agreements with the agency.

Duran’s office on Wednesday verified that she supports Gessler’s effort and provided a reporter with the July 6 letter she sent to to Gessler.

In that letter Duran wrote:

 “The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office has recently undertaken similar efforts to ensure the accuracy of New Mexico’s voter rolls; however, without a reliable means to determine citizenship, we have been unable to determine if registered voters in New Mexico were in fact citizens and eligible to vote. ... I support this initiative and stand ready to participate with any efforts in coordinating access to federal databases that contain accurate and reliable information that will assist us in our statutorily mandated duties.”

Both Gessler and Duran want to access Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification and Entitlement database, to match against state voter rolls.

More on this in today's New Mexican.

UPDATE: Below is a copy of Duran's letter to Gessler. Gessler's letter to Napolitano is HERE (Thank you Denver Post)

762012 Duran Gessler Letter