Twenty-one non-citizens may have voted illegally in the 2016 election in Nevada, the state’s secretary of state Barbara Cegavske announced Wednesday.
(Update 4/24/17: The Nevada Secretary of State’s office clarified its original statement, telling the Daily Caller: “we are looking at who potentially voted illegally is 21. We have found 3 out of 21 who did. The investigation is not complete so this number may change.”)
The 21 non-citizens — and about 80 other non-citizens — registered to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles despite having “presented evidence of non-citizenship,” Cegavske wrote in a statement about her office’s investigation into the integrity of the election.
Cegavske released a statement in January saying that she had “no evidence of voters illegally casting ballots at the most recent election in Nevada.”
“At that time this office had charged two individuals with election-related crimes, one relating to voter registration, and one related to signature gathering for initiative petitions,” a spokesman from Cegavske said Wednesday. “Both of the individuals charged have pleaded guilty to felony charges.”
The statement continued, “In March, the Secretary of State’s office obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a list of just over 100 people statewide who: (1) presented evidence of non-citizenship while obtaining services from the DMV; and (2) completed a voter registration application while at the DMV. After determining that 21 individuals from that list voted, this information was given to investigators with the Secretary of State’s office. Based upon the information obtained to date we have evidence that three non-citizens illegally registered and voted in Clark County in the last election.”
Cegavske’s office said it expects to release additional information about the probe in the next few months.
“Nevada’s election and driver licensing officials need to come together to resolve this matter. Both are operating under imperfect federal rules that will likely need to be addressed by Congress in the near future as this problem worsens across the country,” Logan Churchwell, communications and research director for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told The Daily Caller in an email statement.
Cegavske’s office blamed the Department of Motor Vehicles voter registration process for the errant voter registrations of non-citizens on Monday. She sent a letter to state DMV director Terri Albertson citing her concerns and noted that DMV employees were instructed to register non-citizens even after they were presented with the individuals’ Green Card identification.
Albertson defended her department in a written response: “Your letter comes as a complete surprise as you and your office have reviewed, contributed to, and approved the processes you are expressing concerns about.”
Albertson also said the DMV “receives an application from a customer, it is then transmitted the appropriate agency, most often a county clerk or registrar’s office, for processing. These locations serve under the Secretary of State’s Office as the officials responsible for determining eligibility and processing voter applications.”
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval recently vetoed a proposal that would automatically register people to vote when they apply for a renewed ID or license.