Demystifying Non-Citizen Voting in U.S. Federal Elections

The issue of non-citizen voting in U.S. federal elections has become a heated topic in American politics. While some claim it is a critical problem requiring immediate action, a closer examination reveals a more complex reality.

Key Facts about non-citizen voting in the U.S.

Understanding the SAVE Act 2024

In recent years, the issue of non-citizen voting has gained increased attention. Former President Donald Trump, in particular, has been vocal in amplifying concerns about the alleged prevalence of non-citizens casting ballots in federal elections. This narrative has been echoed by other Republican lawmakers, leading to the introduction of legislation aimed at addressing the perceived problem.

One such example is the SAVE Act 2024, put forth by a group of representatives conservative-leaning states across the U.S. The bill seeks to end the practice of non-citizen voting in U.S. elections, despite a lack of substantial evidence indicating that this is a widespread issue requiring urgent legislative action.

During a recent press conference, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) admitted to reporters that his claims about voter fraud were lacking concrete evidence.

“We all know – intuitively – that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections. But it’s not been something that is easily provable,” Johnson told reporters without offering evidence to support the claim.

This acknowledgment highlights the challenges in providing real evidence to support the necessity of measures like the SAVE Act 2024. Critics argue that these efforts may be more politically motivated than grounded in empirical data, raising questions about the necessity and effectiveness of such measures in ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

States already have safeguards in place to prevent non-citizens from voting

States already have safeguards in place to prevent non-citizens from voting. Voter registration forms in every state, except North Dakota, ask about citizenship status. If an individual answers “no” to being a U.S. citizen, they are not permitted to vote. States also cross-reference information provided on registration forms with government records to verify the identity of potential voters. Providing false information on these forms carries severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and even deportation for non-citizens.

Currently, Arizona is the only state that requires documentary proof of citizenship (DPOC) for people seeking to vote in state or local elections. However, some states have attempted to implement additional requirements for registrants to prove U.S. citizenship, but federal courts have blocked many of these efforts.

In 2004, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure requiring registrants to provide DPOC, such as a birth certificate or naturalization paperwork, to have their voter registration approved. The U.S. Supreme Court later blocked the enforcement of this provision for federal elections, holding that Congress has the primary authority to set the rules for federal elections under the Constitution.

In 2022, the Arizona legislature passed a law imposing new restrictions, including prohibiting voters…

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