A prosecutor's investigation into alleged widespread voting fraud last fall in one of Ohio's largest counties turned up one case.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters subpoenaed the records of roughly 600 people who voted in the county during a weeklong window during which new voters could register and cast a ballot on the same day.
A report Tuesday by a special prosecutor appointed to the investigation found that only one voter actually committed fraud. A Connecticut man in town visiting his sister cast a ballot on Oct. 4 but later told officials what he had done.
At the time Deters launched his "investigation" the American Civil Liberties Union and other voting rights groups sent a letter to Hamilton County Special Prosecutor Michael O'Neill today urging him to suspend investigations of voters where there is no specific, credible evidence of fraud.
"Conducting an investigation without evidence isn't just bad police work – it's illegal when it could lead to lawful voters being intimidated," said Carrie Davis, staff counsel with the ACLU of Ohio. "It appears that Mr. Deters began his investigation based only on the fact that these individuals registered and voted during the September 30 to October 6 overlap window. Registering and voting are not a basis to undertake an investigation."
"Officials have provided no evidence to support their investigation and to justify accusing innocent voters of unlawful activity. Federal law protects voters from being intimidated, even unintentionally, by the actions of others. If voters believe that simply casting their ballot lawfully will subject them to investigation by police, it will almost certainly lead to some avoiding the ballot box," Davis added.