Washington mall shooter voted in this year's presidential primary -- despite not being a U.S. citizen; Correction: He is a U.S. citizen

The requirements for registering to vote in Washington are straightforward. If you’re at least 18 years old, have resided in the state for 30 days, haven’t been convicted of a felony, aren’t barred by court order, and are a citizen of the United States then you’re free to sign up. Arcan Cetin is a permanent legal resident, which put him on track to become a citizen eventually — but PLR status ain’t citizenship. So how’d he end up casting a vote in this year’s primaries? Simple. Washington law requires citizenship to register but doesn’t actually check for it in new registrants. If you tell them you’re a citizen, you’re a citizen. Which, I guess, means citizenship is more of a recommendation, shall we say, than a requirement.

Let me remind you that a study was published two years ago estimating that more than six percent of all non-citizens in the U.S. voted in the 2008 elections. That was the year Al Franken won his Senate seat by 300+ votes in Minnesota; a year later, Franken cast the 60th and deciding vote when the Democratic Senate barely passed ObamaCare. Illegal voting by non-citizens doesn’t matter in blowouts but it does matter in close elections. And yet, despite hard evidence of this, at least one state doesn’t even bother policing its own registration requirements. If Trump loses a nailbiter this year, do you think he might bring this up, pointing directly at Cetin as proof that illegal voting does happen? I sure would.

Here’s your reminder that, per a Rasmussen poll conducted last year, a clear majority of Democrats nationally — 53 percent — believe taxpaying illegal immigrants should have the right to vote. Exit question: How did 19 dead people just register to vote in Virginia?

Update: Welp, this is what I get for having trusted KING5.

For days after the shooting, Cetin was described by local and federal law enforcement as being a permanent U.S. resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey when he was a child, after his mother married an American citizen.

On Thursday, a federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote.

The original story remains noteworthy for the fact that Washington state is essentially on the “honor system” in checking for citizenship, but obviously Cetin himself was legally entitled to vote.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on March 31, 2023