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Election Integrity News Blog


Release: Republican House Proposes Legislation to Address Noncitizen Voting

Reprinted from Texas Public Policy Institute

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) announced a new bill with former President Donald Trump addressing crucial issues surrounding noncitizen voting. The bill, authored by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who has previously drafted similar legislation, would require proof of citizenship to register to vote. 


Already some outlets are falsely assuming that any legislation aimed at preventing noncitizen voting is redundant, but requiring proof of citizenship for the purposes of voter registration has been an ongoing and unresolved issue in American politics for years. Although, under Section 215 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, making false statements about citizenship status to register to vote is already a criminal act, there are currently no clear requirements to verify citizenship other than an attestation by the applicant. If noncitizens decide they want to vote, they must check a box stating they are citizens and then they will be a registered voter. This is a clear election security issue, a huge conflict of interest, and it’s what this common-sense legislation seeks to stop.


Under the Biden Administration, 4.6 million illegal aliens have been released within our borders, and many states are awarding driver’s licenses to noncitizens, making it much easier for noncitizens to cast an illegal ballot. Unfortunately, some Americans underestimate the threat of noncitizen voting, overlooking the compelling incentives of voting in U.S. elections even though they are fairly obvious. Upcoming elections will likely shape border security and benefits to immigrants, so for noncitizens, there are clear reasons to vote for candidates more likely to handout pre-paid debit cards or empty schools to house immigrants. Requiring proof of citizenship is just a common-sense method of enforcing a requirement that has been long established.

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Stricter citizenship verification for voter registration also protects noncitizens who reside here legally from being exploited by activists. When get-out-the vote initiatives, such as voter registration drives, actively encourage individuals to register to vote without emphasizing the citizenship requirement, they put noncitizens who are lawful temporary residents at risk of being deported, especially when there are language barriers, Requiring further proof of citizenship would help avoid this issue—you can’t get talked into registering to vote without the necessary paperwork.


The concern that noncitizens could be exploited by GOTV initiatives is not without reason. Much of the GOTV activities funded by “ZuckBucks” in 2020 were designed in a way that worked to the advantage of Democrats. This was seen in Wisconsin through the use of mobile voting vans that parked in areas more likely to gain increased Democrat votes. This is the pattern: GOTV initiatives actively seek out the people demographics more likely to vote Left.

Legislation raising the bar for proof of citizenship protects citizens’ interests, protects noncitizens from being exploited, and boosts voter confidence. Rep.Roy’s bill would accomplish this by amending the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), by requiring states to obtain documented proof of citizenship regardless of the method they use to register, with an alternative process for U.S. citizens without their documents. As simple and logical as this seems, without the passage of this bill or one like it, states are not even able to ask for proof of citizenship to register new voters. Even if an individual state wanted to require proof of citizenship through something more tangible, like a birth certificate, current U.S. Supreme Court caselaw prevents them from doing so.


Years back, Arizona tried to require applicants to provide a passport, birth certificate, or other proof of citizenship to register to vote, but in 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated the law, holding that the requirement was pre-empted by federal law since the federal law did not require more than the attestation. According to the Court, States can’t require more than the federal form requires, which is just the attestation. Although noncitizen voting is a crime, states are not even allowed to verify citizenship with additional documents.


The bill would also establish a program to remove noncitizens from existing voter rolls, including allocating resources to do so. It empowers citizens to bring civil suits against election officials who fail to obtain the required documents to verify citizenship.


To those concerned that this bill goes too far, believing that verification of citizenship should be left to the states, this federal election measure stands apart from other bills because citizen verification is well within the federal government’s power as it relates to immigration issues.

At a time when both voter confidence and border security are top concerns, it is refreshing to see the House take action on this issue. The truth of the matter is non-citizen voting is a non-starter. The federal government must adapt to the less-than-ideal scenario it currently finds itself: Racing towards a hotly contested election that could be decided by a few thousand votes with millions of ineligible voters potentially on the voter rolls.

Also: Register today. Don't miss Attorney John Eastman coming to Michigan Thursday, May 9, 7 PM, Lansing.

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