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Immigrants Who Vote Illegally Prompt Lawsuit in Maryland
Voting Rights or Fraud of Illegal Immigrants
A lawsuit filed last week by an advocacy group that monitors elections is drawing attention to new evidence that illegal immigrants often vote in the United States despite laws that prohibit their participation.
The Virginia Voters Alliance accuses the State of Maryland of failing to adequately prevent illegal immigrants from voting in state and local elections.
Virginia Voters Alliance estimates that as many as 7 percent of Maryland's voters might be illegal immigrants.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore was filed on behalf of four state residents against the Maryland State Board of Elections and the Frederick County Board of Elections. Voter fraud in Maryland is a misdemeanor.
Illegal immigrant voters appear to be a much broader problem than suspected throughout the Washington area and surrounding states. Only Virginia requires voters to provide their Social Security numbers at polling stations. However, the state does not require voters to show their Social Security cards or show any other proof of legal residence.
State election board officials acknowledge some illegal immigrants are voting but said they have no effective means of screening them out. Their checks of voter rolls consist mostly of data searches to ensure convicted felons and persons using the names of deceased persons are not allowed to cast ballots.
A new study from Old Dominion University shows an estimated 242,000 illegal immigrants voted in 2010, enough to determine who wins an election in a few close races. About 700,000 voted in 2008.
The "Cooperative Congressional Election Study" showed that about 14 percent of non-citizens are registered to vote in the United States. Often, they use forged drivers licenses to gain access to the polls.
In 2010, about 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted, the study's authors reported.
Among a sample group of 27 non-citizens monitored for the study when they tried to vote, 18 of them were allowed to cast ballots after showing picture identification.
The federal government estimates there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Most of them report favoring political policies of Democrats.