In Maryland, reminding immigrants they must be US citizens in order to vote

Update:  Another report of Somalis voting who can’t speak English, this time in Kansas.  If they can’t speak English how did they pass their citizenship test?   Update October 27th:  More on Somalis voting in Ohio.

Voting without citizenship is a crime!

Some readers may know that Maryland voters will decide on November 6th whether to overturn a law passed by the legislature in 2011 and signed by Governor Martin O’Malley to give illegal aliens instate tuition rates at Maryland colleges.  The ballot question will ask voters to vote for or against the O’Malley law.   It is the first law successfully petitioned to referendum in the state in 20 years.   So you can see the incentive to try to cheat by those who would reap the benefit is pretty great in a state not used to conservative taxpaying citizens having much of a voice.

An aside:  yesterday someone reported to me that busloads of Somalis were arriving at Ohio polling places for early voting.  Of course Somalis have been here for a long time and many have become US citizens, but I do hope no one is leading those who aren’t citizens astray because deportation is one of the possible outcomes identified by Help Save Maryland if non-citizens vote.

Readers here may not know that there is a national grassroots campaign first set up by True the Vote but expanding to all fifty states where citizens are working to clean up voter rolls and improve election integrity.  In Maryland the group is known as Election Integrity Maryland, and it isn’t just about Election 2012 but will be an on-going effort for years to come.

This is a cross-post from Potomac Tea Party Report.  I assume other groups, like Help Save Maryland, in other states are undertaking similar efforts to educate non-citizens about voting.

Help Save Maryland launches campaign to remind immigrants that they must be US citizens to vote

Below is the press release from yesterday.  I would like to add that with increased efforts on-going now in Maryland to clean up voter rolls it will become increasingly possible to identify non-citizen voters.  And, no matter who wins the Presidency in November, this issue of election integrity will be a leading issue in Maryland for years to come.

ROCKVILLE, MD– Help Save Maryland – a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots citizens’ organization – launched an educational campaign to remind immigrants that if they are not U.S. citizens, then voting in a federal or state election can be a serious crime.

Help Save Maryland is distributing an informational flyer, “Voting Without Citizenship is a Crime” in 5 languages – English, Spanish, French, Korean and Chinese.

“Maryland is home to over 730,000 people born outside of the United States,” says Brad Botwin, Director of Help Save Maryland.  “Many of them are not yet naturalized citizens.  As a service to the community, we want to make sure that all non-citizen immigrants — legal and illegal — don’t make a terrible mistake on November 6th.”

While a few Maryland jurisdictions allow non-citizens to vote in their local elections, in general, non-citizens who vote in Maryland federal and state elections may be subject to fines, imprisonment and/or deportation.  Even registering to vote, or encouraging other non-citizens to register to vote, is a serious crime in Maryland, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

The problem has been made worse by Maryland’s past history of giving drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens. And organizations, such as CASA de Maryland, which provide services to illegal aliens, have posted notices in Spanish outside their facilities about helping people register to vote.

“While gathering signatures last year against the so-called Maryland DREAM Act, I repeatedly encountered recent immigrants who believed their Maryland drivers license was proof they were registered voters,” says Paul Mendez, a volunteer.  “In all the excitement of a presidential election, it’s easy to imagine that non-citizens might mistakenly attempt to vote and commit a crime without knowing it.”

“Voting Without Citizenship is a Crime” flyers are available for no charge on Help Save Maryland’s website (

We encourage county Boards of Elections, religious groups, community service providers, libraries, schools, and organizations that serve Maryland’s immigrant population to distribute these flyers, which will also be handed out at polling locations on Election Day by Help Save Maryland volunteers.

Help Save Maryland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Its mission is to provide facts regarding the cost of illegal aliens who live and/or work in Maryland.  Help Save Maryland fosters public awareness and education, and supports analysis and research.