House Passes Measure to Stop Noncitizen Voting in Federal Elections

House Passes Measure to Stop Noncitizen Voting in Federal Elections

The Republican-controlled House voted 221-198 Wednesday to require proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections.

The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act, or SAVE Act, would amend the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, known as the “motor voter law,” to require that states obtain documentary proof of U.S. citizenship from someone before he or she may register to vote.

Five Democrats voted for the legislation, but 198 Democrats voted against it.

President Joe Biden opposes the legislation and it’s not likely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, where Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, sponsored a companion bill.

“Over the past four years, Joe Biden has welcomed millions upon millions of illegals into the country knowing that noncitizens only have to check a box to vote in a federal election,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a public statement. “We have long known this was an intentional effort to turn them into voters, and now the American people know where every member of Congress stands on this critically important issue.”

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, also would require states to remove noncitizens from the voter rolls.

“I kind of dare them to vote no on a bill supported by 81% to 87% of the American people,” Roy said Wednesday on the House floor, referring to Democrats. “I dare them to vote no on a bill that says only American citizens should vote in American elections. I dare them to go ahead and follow a president who has put out a policy against a bill, the purpose of which is to guarantee citizens are the ones who get to vote in American elections.”

The House bill also would empower U.S. citizens to bring civil suits against election officials who don’t uphold proof-of-citizenship requirements for federal elections. It also allows for integrating existing databases at the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to expedite the requirement for states to remove noncitizens from voter rolls. 

Although it’s already illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections, there is no mechanism to ensure that only those registering or voting are actually citizens, Johnson has said.

Johnson, R-La., noted that Virginia last year removed 1,500 registrants from the voter rolls who were noncitizens, and 22% had cast ballots. The states of Massachusetts and Ohio removed noncitizens from voter rolls in recent years. Georgia found that 1,600 noncitizens attempted to vote. 

“American citizens will be protected and in no way harmed by this bill,” Johnson said Wednesday on the House floor. “There is not a conceivable argument that the Democrats can make to oppose the commonsense measures that we’re putting before them today. Nothing changes the voter registration process in the states.”

“The only people who will face hurdles here are those who are trying to break our federal laws,” the House speaker said. “And that’s why it’s patently absurd that the White House issued a veto threat. They issued a veto threat.”

In 2017, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes resigned after the state admitted to registering illegal immigrants for several years. 

More than 10 million illegal immigrants and millions more paroled aliens have entered the country since Biden took office in January 2021. The Biden administration has released at least 4.6 million illegal aliens into the United States in addition to 1.8 million known “gotaways,” according to Roy’s office.

This is a breaking news story and may be updated.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.