This question is motivated by the recent discussions about "voter fraud" and "rigged election" in the media. I am not asking about the extent of actual voter fraud, but about how easy it would be to commit fraud. There are many potential types of fraud, but let me focus on one: suppose you're not a US citizen, and wish to register and cast a vote at a presidential election (illegally of course). How easy would it be to do that?
I have tried to answer the question myself, and of course the answer will depend on the state. Let me consider for instance Massachusetts, which is the state where I live, and should be a good representative of the states that do not have law considered as limiting votes by putting excessive requirements. To vote in Massachussets, you must be registered, which
can be done in three ways: online, by mail, in person. By mail seems the easiest way, because you need to give your name and address, and either a copy of a government ID, or the last four digits of your SSN, or any lease, bill, etc with your name and address or it. I was surprised that there it is not required to give a document showing that you are indeed a citizen. Hence my question:
Does the state (MA for instance, or any other you may have information on) try to check if you're a citizen when you register for voting? If so, how?
This can be split into many subquestions. Does the state check if the four digits of the SSN you give matches the name you give? Assuming it does, can the state check if a person, known to it by name and SSN, is a citizen or not? If yes, how? Is there a federal registry of all citizens, that the individual states can access to? What if instead of giving your last four number of SSN, you just give a document with your name or address (which seems trivial to fake). Will the state check if the person trying to register exists, and if this person is a citizen? How?
[I am French, and a permanent resident in the US. I am a little bit surprised about how these things are organized are, because the rule in France is that when you ask for something reserved to citizen (registering for voting, getting a passport, etc.) you yourself have to provide the proof that you are indeed a citizen, by furnishing either a birth certificate showing that you're born in France and that one of your parent was either French or born in France at the time you were born (that's the condition for being French by birth), or a naturalization document. There seems to be nothing of that sort in the US (in MA at least)...]