But hey, back to this little election mystery. If you would, grab your voter registration card and look at the back. What does it say? OK, you can’t find the card. But here’s what it says:
“This card is not proof of citizenship.”
Seems crazy. Counter-intuitive if you will. After all, one of the foundations of our democracy are elections. And — of course — you must be a U.S. citizen to vote. So if you have an election registration card — issued by the government — it signifies you can vote … but it does not signify you are a U.S. citizen.
Let me be clear, I’m not one of those goofy conspiracy nut jobs who claim that President Trump won the popular vote (even though he lost by 3 million votes). Yes, it actually was the country’s head fraudster who pushed this conspiracy, but like so many other words that have dribbled out of his mouth, it was a lie.
Still, I found it odd, a little perplexing even, that an official voting registration card issued by the government allowing someone to vote has nothing backing it up. So I dug in a little. I got in touch with Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey, who oversees elections and issues the cards. This Republican has been in this role for more than 20 years. I’ve got a ton of respect for him. He’s cool, calm and cunning. Well, I don’t know about cunning, but who doesn’t like a little three-word alliteration?
Kimsey told me essentially that voter registration is on the honor system.
“In order to complete (the voter registration) form the person must attest that they are a U.S. citizen. The person must also provide their driver’s license number or the last four numbers of their Social Security number.”
The catch there, of course, is our state issues driver’s licenses to people who aren’t U.S. citizens. So an illegal alien could — could — legally get a driver’s license, show that driver’s license to the elections office, and obtain a voter registration card.
So there’s no real checking going on. “Election administrators do not have any investigative authority,” Kimsey said. Again, it’s on the honor system.
So the only way any possible fraud could be caught is for someone to question a person’s legal voting status.
“If a person believes a registered voter does not meet the requirements to be a registered voter they may file a voter registration challenge,” Kimsey added.
I asked Kimsey how many times that has happened in his long career in Clark County. He said it’s only been a handful of times.
There was one last question I had for him. That line on the back of the registration card. Where did it come from? Who put it there?
Kimsey said he has no idea. He said the line is not required by the state, so he knows that Clark County added it. No one — including a state elections official I spoke with — knows if any other Washington counties use it.
So there’s another mystery for you. If I find the answer — or exactly how Trump plans to move Colorado to the Mexican border — I’ll get back to you.