COMPASS: Preventing Non-Citizens from Voting in Federal Elections

July 9th, 2024

Good afternoon.

The House and Senate are back this week after an eventful Independence Day recess week. The House will take up the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, and a bill titled the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act (SAVE Act). In the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will hold another show vote on an abortion related bill. Next week, the House and Senate will both be out for the Republican National Convention, followed by two busy weeks that will likely be exclusively dealing with the remaining appropriations bills.

This week, the House will take up a bill sponsored by Congressman Chip Roy that would require proof of United States Citizenship to vote in federal elections. The SAVE Act would close a gap that exists in federal law to require documentary proof of U.S. Citizenship to vote in federal elections and scrub non-citizens from voting rolls. Conservatives have been and continue to be concerned about non-citizen voting, which has been exacerbated by the mass entrance of illegal aliens over the last four years that the Biden Administration has allowed to flow across our borders and the ease with which those aliens are able to obtain driver licenses. Many in the media and on the left are saying that this legislation is unnecessary, because it is already illegal to vote in federal elections if you are a non-citizen.

The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy summarizing the views of many on the left, writing, “…it is extraordinarily rare for noncitizens to break the law by voting in Federal elections.” That caught the eye of Speaker Mike Johnson who posted on X saying, “It should alarm every American citizen that the sitting President of the United States, who has opened our border to over 9 million illegals, just announced that he would veto our bill to prevent noncitzens from voting.”

As Senator Mike Lee points out, “…that logic would suggest that we don’t need laws requiring age verification to purchase cigarettes & alcohol because selling them to minors is already illegal.” Ned Ryun, in one tweet, also dispels this notion that the legislation is not needed. He shared a picture of a form from Arizona’s AHCCCS (Medicaid office) that says if the Medicaid office is unable to prove your citizenship, “you will receive a federal-only ballot, which has only federal races and no state, county, or local races or initiatives/referendums.” Elon Musk caught wind of the Ryun tweet and weighed in himself saying, “Arizona requires proof of citizenship to vote in state elections, but explicitly does not for federal elections. This is messed up.” The Immigration Accountability Project echoed Musk saying, “Because the federal Motor-Voter law prohibits states from asking for documentary proof of citizenship from applicants who fill out the federal voter registration form. So, states can require proof of citizenship on their own voter registration forms, but not on the federal form. The SAVE Act would fix this.”

Overshadowing all of this is a 2021 Executive Order (EO) titled, “Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting” which directed every agency of the federal government to engage in voter registration. Specifically, the EO in part says, “The head of each agency shall evaluate ways in which the agency can, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, promote voter registration and voter participation.” Conservatives are frustrated with what appears to be an overt attempt to get people who most frequently engage with government, registered to vote.

Congressman Eli Crane, conservative Congressman from Arizona, took his allotted time in the Small Business Committee recently to highlight the Small Business Administration’s role in registering and turning out voters.

This legislation is likely to be voted on on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

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