Seventeen cases of non-citizens who cast ballots in last year's presidential election in Ohio will be recommended for prosecution by Secretary of State John Husted.
"I have a responsibility to uphold election law, and under both federal and state law you must be a citizen to vote," Husted told Fox News
Husted, a Republican who has long championed online voter registration to combat fraud in the state, told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
that the 17 cases were referred to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Those cases were part of a broader investigation by Husted's office that discovered 274 more non-citizens on the state's voting rolls. They did not vote in the election, he said.
All of the non-citizens are in Ohio legally, Husted told the newspaper. Both state and federal laws bar non-citizens from voting.
Each of the non-citizens was required to disclose whether they were legal U.S. residents when their completed their registration information, according to The Plain Dealer.
President Barack Obama beat former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Ohio, a key swing state, by only 2 percentage points last November.
It could not be determined which candidate those 17 non-citizens supported, Husted told the Plain Dealer. More than 5.6 million Ohio residents voted in last year's election.
Husted said that the 274 others would be allowed to voluntarily terminate their registrations.
“Each of them will receive a letter reminding them that as non-citizens, they are not eligible to vote, and providing them forms to cancel their registrations,” he told the Plain Dealer.
Husted's investigation also found that over 257,000 dead Ohioans were on the voter rolls, Fox reports. Their names have been removed, he said.
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