Fairfield man who said he’d be watching polls not a registered voter

Early voting in Ohio began on Oct. 12 and continues until Nov. 7. Election Day is Nov. 8 and polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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Early voting in Ohio began on Oct. 12 and continues until Nov. 7. Election Day is Nov. 8 and polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

A recent Boston Globe article featured Steve Webb, a 61-year-old Fairfield man, saying he’s “going to go for sure” to his local polling place on Election Day to look for illegal immigrants who may attempt to vote.

"I'll look for … well, it's called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can't speak American," Webb told the Boston Globe. "I'm going to go right up behind them. I'll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I'm not going to do anything illegal. I'm going to make them a little bit nervous."

Webb is not a registered voter in Butler County, according to records obtained by the Journal-News from the Butler County Board of Elections.

Voter intimidation is illegal, and “impeding, interfering with, or disrupting the election in some manner” is not permitted by state law.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has said he invites citizens to be election observers as long as they “follow the rules,” which includes signing up as an official observer because “we have to know who you are.”

And the rules state “observers may not serve as enforcers of the laws nor act as advocates for voters before the precinct election officials.”

Despite the threat of disruptions, Husted doesn’t expect them, and if there are legitimate complaints, “we want to hear about them.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has asserted he expects the Nov. 8 election will be “rigged,” and he’s likely to not accept the results if he doesn’t win.

Husted has said people “should have confidence” in the election process.

“People have lost faith in their institutions, whether it’s politics, the media, the justice system,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski this past Monday. “I don’t want them to lose faith in their democracy. Our system is not rigged, it works very well.”

While Husted said voter fraud does exist, it’s not rampant.

“It exists. It’s rare. We hold people accountable,” he said. “Like you have any law, people will break laws. We’ll catch you. Most of the time people try to vote fraudulently, the vote’s not counted because we catch it before it actually happens.”

In Ohio, all 88 county boards of elections are bipartisan. There are two Republicans and two Democrats on the board, and they employ citizen poll workers. He also said when the ballots are counted, which are at a public meeting, it’s done off an internet-connected system.

“This system in America and in Ohio is more secure than its every been,” he said.