Voting Al-Qaeda in Ohio

But even before the 2004 elections it was found that Paul’s accomplices who had already been charged had active voter registrations in Ohio, even though Nuradin Abdi was never a U.S. citizen and thus ineligible to register in the first place, as Jon Craig of the Columbus Dispatch reported:

Among supposedly eligible voters in Franklin County are suspected terrorists arrested for alleged plots to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and a local shopping mall. As an imprisoned felon, one is ineligible to vote. The other, from Somalia, is not a U.S. citizen and thus broke state and federal laws when he registered in 1999, officials said. ...

“That’s really disturbing,” said Ohio State University law professor Terri Enns. “There certainly are potential problems, but there are a lot of [Election Day] safeguards to keep it from swaying the election.”

Accused terrorists Nuradin Abdi, 32, and Iyman Faris, 35, are registered to vote in Ohio. An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in June said Somali immigrant Abdi and admitted al-Qaeda member Faris plotted with a third Columbus man to attack a mall.

Fred Alverson, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, said Abdi’s false registration may violate state and federal law. In fact, the application he signed -- swearing he is a U.S. citizen -- notes that election falsification is punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine of $1,000, or both.

Faris, a Columbus truck driver, is serving a 20-year sentence after admitting that he scouted the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and other potential targets for al-Qaeda as recently as March 2003. As an incarcerated felon, he will not be allowed to vote. Faris, from Kashmir, became a naturalized citizen in 1999. (“Long Gone But Still Registered,” Columbus Dispatch, October 24, 2004)

At that time, Democrats charged that the active registrations of Faris and Abdi were proof of the supposed corruption and incompetence of then-Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican. But it is highly doubtful that these same critics who assailed Blackwell will be equally as vocal now that similar corruption and incompetence are occurring under current Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat noted for her opening up Ohio voter rolls to widespread fraud prior to last year’s presidential election.

With more than a week before this year’s election, Christopher Paul still might have sufficient time to have his voice heard by casting his absentee ballot. But Ohio voters might want to ask if convicted al-Qaeda terrorists still have the ability to cast a ballot along with the rest of the electorate, who else might be on the voter rolls?