Turkish immigrant Arcan Cetin, 20, has been charged with five counts of first degree murder following the Washington Mall shooting. As government officials continue looking into his background, something shocking has been discovered: he is registered to vote. He’s not a citizen yet he has voted in three previous elections, the most recent one this past May.
Cetin was able to vote in Washington because of their “good faith” clause, meaning you do not have to prove that you’re eligible to vote. They take your word for it.
When Cetin immigrated to the United States as child, he was given a green card. He was able to apply for citizenship. ICE officials, however, have confirmed that he has not been given full citizenship, meaning him voting is absolutely illegal.
“We don’t have a provision in state law that allows us either county elections officials or the Secretary of State’s office to verify someone’s citizenship,” explained Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “So, we’re in this place where we want to make sure we’re maintaining people’s confidence in the elections and the integrity of the process, but also that we’re giving this individual, like we would any voter, his due process. We’re moving forward, and that investigation is really coming out of the investigation from the shootings.”
Although Cetin’s case points to a potentially larger issue – voter fraud and the need to verify voter registration – Wyman says she doesn’t believe this is a bigger problem.
Officials are looking at charging Cetin with voter fraud, which carries a penalty of a $10,000 fine or five years in prison.