A non-citizen green card-holder in Manhattan may have been illegally voting in city elections for the past 13 years — possibly one of “thousands” of similarly bogus voters, a city Board of Elections whistleblower told The Post.
Abdul Rahman Kargbo, 63, first registered to vote in November 2005. according to records from the New York City Board of Elections. He enrolled in the Democratic Party and voted in nine general and primary elections between 2008 and 2021, the records show.
A copy of Kargbo’s original voter registration form obtained by The Post shows he clearly and honestly marked that he was not a US citizen, yet the clueless agency registered him anyway.
“Just incompetence,” said the city Board of Elections staffer who pulled Kargbo’s voter files for The Post, adding that he’s “seen it before.” Reps for the city Board of Elections told The Post that responsibility for verifying voter information fell to the state Board of Elections.
But the state Board of Elections shrugged off the mistake, instead blaming the lack of vetting laws.
“There were no procedures in state Election Law in 2005 to verify citizenship and that remains true today. We have no way to verify citizenship status. There is no publicly accessible database from the federal government for states to verify the citizenship of voters,” said John Conklin, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections.
Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting. “Non-citizens, including permanent legal residents, cannot vote in federal, state, and most local elections,” according to USA.gov, an official government web portal.
“We were made aware of this situation in July and the voter was removed from the voter rolls, and we will take a look at our legal requirements,” Vincent M. Ignizio, a spokesman for the city BOE said.
Even though the election agencies made the mistake of rubber-stamping the registration, the matter has been referred to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Earlier this year, the City Council passed a contentious bill that would allow non-citizens to vote in local elections — but the measure was subsequently shot down by Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio, who said it violated the state constitution. The city is appealing the decision.
A city BOE insider told The Post there “could be thousands” of illegal voters currently registered and regularly voting.
“We have no way of knowing,” the insider said. “A cable bill is enough” to register, he said, referencing New York State laws allowing a permissive list of potential ways to verify voter identity.
Kargbo moved to “obliterate” his voter registration in a letter to the city Board of Elections in July. It’s unclear why Kargbo is looking to scrub his past registration, but having a record of illegal voting can complicate the process of becoming a citizen.
“From this day I ask that the Department of Board of Elections to please ‘closed-out my voter registration status’ effective July 14, 2022,” he wrote in the signed and notarized letter. “I am a Green Card holder. I am not (legally qualify) to cast a ‘vote.’ “
Kargbo, interviewed at his East Harlem home, denied ever voting or even registering to vote, and could not explain the existence of the BOE records.
“I did not commit any crime,” he said.
“I bet you in New York there are thousands and thousands of people that are not US citizens who are registered to vote and are voting,” said Hans Von Spakovsky, a voting expert at the Heritage Foundation.
In 2017, the Public Interest Legal Foundation found that the state of Virginia removed 5,556 voters for non-citizenship between 2011 and 2017 and that 7,474 illegal ballots had been cast from the pool of culled voters.