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House Democrats encouraged to oppose bill banning non-citizens from voting

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(The Center Square) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have been encouraged to vote against a bill that implements greater safeguards to ensure that non-citizens aren’t registered to vote in federal elections and imposes consequences if they are.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, filed the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, first announced in May, which is expected to come up for a vote this week.

Democrats hold a minority in the House and are unlikely to block the bill from passing. In a “Whip Question” sent to House Democrats by House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., first published by Axios, she encouraged Democrats to vote against it, saying, “As we’ve seen a number of times this Congress, House Republicans continue to irresponsibly call into question the credibility of our elections. Despite numerous recounts, challenges in court, and deep-dives by conservative think-tanks, there has been zero evidence of the widespread fraud that this bill purports to target. It is already illegal under current law for noncitizens to register to vote or to vote in federal elections.”

The bill goes before the Rules Committee Monday night. The rule vote on the floor is scheduled for Tuesday with a final passage of the bill expected on Wednesday, The Center Square has learned.

The bill was filed after several local Democratic-run jurisdictions nationwide have announced efforts to register noncitizens to vote, and some like the District of Columbia passed measures to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, filed a bill more than once to block the district’s measure, which Democrats overwhelmingly opposed, The Center Square reported.

Clark argues the SAVE Act would “supersede individual state law by amending the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) to require voters in all states to show ‘documentary proof of citizenship’ (DPOC) in order to register to vote. These changes would prevent Americans from registering to vote with their drivers’ license alone, as REAL ID does not indicate citizenship and is in fact available to noncitizens.”

She claims it would make a passport “the only acceptable standalone form of identification for use in voter registration … A REAL ID drivers’ license, a Tribal ID, or a military ID would be unacceptable unless coupled with additional documentation, such as a birth certificate … that proves the applicant was born in the United States,” creating “an extreme burden for countless Americans.”

She also claims it opens “avenues to further intimidate election officials and overburden states’ abilities to enroll new voters.”

These claims are false, Roy argues, saying it “requires proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections. Democrats will oppose it this week – because they WANT non-citizens, including illegals, to vote.”

Roy led a coalition of 49 Republicans to introduce the SAVE Act, which now has 104 GOP cosponsors. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, with several cosponsors, introduced the same bill in the Senate, The Center Square reported.

It is already a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in a federal election. Despite this, when announcing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said, “no current mechanism to ensure only those registering or voting are actually citizens. … If a nefarious actor wants to intervene in our elections, all they have to do is check a box on a form and sign their name. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. And there’s a very small chance that illegal would get caught [because] states do not have the election infrastructure in place to confirm what they’ve said.”

Johnson said noncitizens “can simply go to their local welfare office or the DMV and register to vote there,” adding that “states are currently prohibited from asking someone to prove that they’re a citizen when they use the federal voter registration form.”

He issued a statement clarifying what the bill does. It requires state election officials to ask about citizenship before providing voter registration forms and for individuals to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in federal elections. It also “allows state officials to accept a wide variety of documents that will make it easy for CITIZENS to register to vote in federal elections,” he said, and “provides states with access to federal agency databases so they can remove noncitizens from voter rolls and confirm citizenship for individuals lacking proof of citizenship.”

The law also directs the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to determine whether to conduct removal proceedings if any illegal foreign nationals have been found to have registered to vote in federal elections.

Johnson has previously warned Americans, “Democrats have expressed a desire to turn on citizens and voters. That’s what this open border has been all about.”

Roy said the SAVE Act “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

The bill is expected to pass if all House Republicans vote for it and is unlikely to be considered in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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