WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in North Carolina say they’re charging 19 people with registering to vote or casting ballots illegally because they weren’t U.S. citizens.
Prosecutors said Friday that nine people who are citizens of Mexico, Nigeria, Japan and other countries are charged with felonies for falsely claiming U.S. citizenship when registering to vote. They were also indicted last month on misdemeanor crimes by a federal grand jury in Wilmington for voting in the 2016 federal elections.
Eight others from Haiti, Germany, Poland and other counties were accused only of voting illegally in 2016.
If convicted on charges of voting by non-citizens and pretending to be U.S. citizens in order to register to vote, they face face up to six years in prison and a $350,000 fine. Two are from Mexico, and the rest are from the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, the Philippines, Panama, Grenada, Guyana, and Japan, according to Higdon’s office.
Eight people face up to a year in prison and $100,000 fines for voting by non-citizens, the news release said. Two are from Haiti, and the others are from Poland, Germany, El Salvador, Italy, Mexico, and Korea.
Two additional foreign nationals were charged with visa or passport fraud besides illegal voting, while a third was accused of aiding and abetting one of the voters accused of falsely claimed citizenship.
– Michael Onas