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‘For the Record’ update: New study finds non-citizens may have swung recent elections by voting illegally

With the midterm elections less than a week away, a new study reveals non-citizens could change the results of certainly tightly-contested races by voting illegally.

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For the Record‘s episode “General Holder’s War” focused on the threat of voter fraud and the Department of Justice’s refusal to take what many consider common-sense steps to prevent it. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama have both stated that voter fraud is almost nonexistent and that proposals such as requiring voters to show photo ID are really aimed at disenfranchising groups like minorities and the elderly.

Now, researchers at James Madison University say they have uncovered evidence that tens of thousands of non-citizens may have voted illegally in 2008, but that the actual number could be as high as 2.8 million.

The study examined results of 2008 and 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies, which surveyed more than 80,000 people. Within those surveys, hundreds of respondents said they were not United States citizens and therefore ineligible to vote in virtually any elections. However, the researchers say it appears that more than 6 percent did cast ballots in the 2008 election. The study found that 82 percent of non-citizens supported Obama in that election, compared to just 18 percent for Sen. John McCain.

Obama won the state of North Carolina by just over 14,000 votes that year. In a blog entry for the Washington Post, the researchers said that it’s entirely possible that illegal voters may have swung that state to Obama, since just 5 percent of that state’s non-citizens could have provided that margin of victory.

Non-citizens may have also changed the results of other close races that year, such as Sen. Al Franken’s controversial 312-vote victory over Norm Coleman in Minnesota. As For The Record pointed out in “General Holder’s War,” Franken’s election gave the Democrats 60 seats in the Senate and provided them a filibuster-proof majority to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

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