County clerk: Effort to register non-citizen to vote fails
November 16, 2022
A former chair of the Republican Party of Quay County took a non-U.S. citizen to try to register to vote during the last week of early voting of the just-completed general election.
Quay County Clerk Ellen White said the attempt to register the non-citizen was unsuccessful.
Ann Hall said during a phone interview Monday morning she took a Mexican immigrant to the county courthouse to register.
“He’s doing stucco at my house,” Hall said. “He has got his visa, his Social Security number, his driver’s license, even his tax ID number for work … he’s got everything. You hear on the news — I guess it’s fake — about people registering those coming over the border. So I took him down there to register him to vote.”
Hall said the man needs three more years to earn U.S. citizenship.
“He in my eyes is not illegal because he’s done everything in the right way,” she said. “He’s got all his papers to be here. He’s just not a United States citizen.”
Hall said her attempt to register the man was made in good faith. She claimed news outlets such as “CNN and things like that” have reported of undocumented immigrants registering to vote in the U.S.
White told county commissioners about the incident on Monday morning. White said she would follow up with the Secretary of State’s office to get clarification on whether Hall should be allowed to continue in her role as an official Republican Party challenger during elections.
“I want to see whether we can ensure the right people are being the challengers,” White said. “If there is recourse, I want to know what it is.”
Hall also attended a certification of county voting machines in October.
In January 2021, Hall, who was chairwoman of the Republican Party of Quay County at the time, said an election victory was stolen from President Donald Trump in 2020 but offered no evidence that any such fraud occurred.
Deanna Osborn became chairwoman of the county GOP, but Hall continues to be involved in local party politics, including attending a pancake breakfast for Republican candidates this fall and a campaign stop by GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti days before Election Day.
Hall was asked Monday whether voter fraud occurred during this year’s election.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to think anymore,” she said. “The Republicans just didn’t get anywhere (during the election).”
White said Hall claimed she did not know a non-citizen cannot vote.
Federal law bars non-citizens from voting in U.S. elections.
White elaborated on the incident in an interview after the commission’s meeting. She couldn’t recall the exact date it happened but said it was on a Wednesday or Thursday during the final week of early voting.
She said her office was unable to find the required verification data on the individual during the registration process. When they pressed the man on the issue, he presented his immigration papers. White said he was an immigrant from Mexico, and he told her a female county resident told him he could register.
White initially declined to identify Hall, but later confirmed it was Hall to the Quay County Sun.
White said when she confronted Hall about the improper voter-registration attempt, Hall claimed ignorance about federal election law.
White, a Democrat, expressed doubt about that, given the woman’s involvement in Republican politics.
“The poor guy didn’t even know he was being used,” White said.
“They were pushing buttons to see if (the voter registration) would work or not,” she added. “I don’t believe it was unintentional.”