Somalis being bused in to Ohio polling place, are they citizens?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 27, 2012
Update #2: For the new readers searching for information on who resettles Somalis in Ohio, here is one list of the federal contractors. However, keep in mind that many Somalis there might be the result of so-called “secondary migration,” that is that they were resettled elsewhere but gravitated to Ohio because others of their ethnic background told them it was a good place to live.
Update: No sooner had I posted this than I noticed that this older post of mine about Columbus, Ohio Somalis wanting taxpayer funded stuff from those they elect to office has been getting lots of hits this afternoon. Check it out.
The other day I mentioned that in Maryland, Help Save Maryland was making flyers available to prospective immigrant voters that tell them what the law is (and the consequences of breaking the law!) involving casting a vote as a non-citizen, here.
Now I see on Drudge today that the story I heard about through the grapevine two days ago has been reported, here at Human Events by blogger Sara Marie Brenner.
This is the gist of the story (Sara Marie Brenner is a special correspondent for Human Events, is a member of the Powell, Ohio City Council and blogs about politics at the Brenner Brief.)
While it’s not unusual for get-out-the-vote groups to help voters get to the polls, the volunteers who talked to Human Events observed a number of troubling and questionable activities.
A source, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a volunteer outside the Morse Road polling center. She has witnessed Somalis who cannot speak English come to the polling center. They are brought in groups, by van or bus. The Democrats hand them a slate card and say, “vote Brown all the way down.” Given that Sherrod Brown is the incumbent Democrat Senator in Ohio, one can assume that this is the reference.
Non-English speaking voters may use an interpreter. The interpreters are permitted by law to interpret for the individual voting; however, they are forbidden from influencing their vote in any way. Another source who also wishes to remain anonymous has seen Democrat interpreters show the non-English speaking Somalis how to vote the Democrat slate that they were handed outside. According to this second source, there are not any Republican Somali interpreters available.
The logical follow-up question is whether a non-English speaking person is an American citizen. (That is my question too!—ed)
It is pretty easy to cheat!
Essentially, a person is asked to check a box stating that they are a citizen, and the poll worker is to trust that they are the person who is listed on the item being shown or the information being written. In other words, someone can be an illegal resident of the state of Ohio and the United States, get an apartment, turn on the heat, bring in the Columbia Gas bill, register to vote by the deadline, and vote by showing that same bill. There is then no verification that this individual is a citizen of the United States.
Does this make sense?
According to the Somali Community Association of Ohio’s web site, over 45,000 Somalis live in Ohio. Only 40 percent have become citizens of the United States, and only 25 percent speak English well enough to get a job.
So how did they speak English well enough to pass a citizenship test????
For new readers: We have written about twenty posts in which we mention Ohio Somalis. You can review that archive here. Also, new readers should know that we have been admitting Somali refugees for going on thirty years. From this post I wrote in 2008 you can get a feel for the size of the US Somali refugee population which is well over 100,000 by now. Thirty years of having large families gives them a big advantage in the demographics game.
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