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198 Democrats Vote Against Bill To Keep Foreign Nationals Out Of American Elections

On Wedneday night, 198 House Democrats voted against a bill that would require documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote.


Democrats spent eight years feigning outrage about foreign election interference because they falsely claim it led to Donald Trump’s election. But 198 House Democrats voted against a bill on Wednesday that would help keep foreign nationals from interfering in American elections by requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Five Democrats — Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX); Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (TX); Rep. Don Davis (NC); Rep. Jared Golden (ME); and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA) –joined Republicans in the vote of 221 to 198. Four Republicans and 10 Democrats did not take part in the voting.

Republicans introduced the Safeguarding American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act that would amend the 1993 National Voter Registration Act to make documentary proof of citizenship a requirement for voter registration. The 1993 law enables driver’s license applicants to register to vote through state motor vehicle agencies. While registrants must attest to their citizenship status by checking a box under penalty of perjury, there is no enforcement mechanism.

Democrats contest the legislation is useless since noncitizen voting is already illegal, with House Minority Whip Katherine Clark urging Democrats to “VOTE NO” on the bill earlier this week, as Axios reported. Democrats ran with this line during a floor debate on Wednesday.

“It is against the law for noncitizens to register to vote and to vote in federal elections,” Democratic New York Rep. Joseph Morelle insisted.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said “it is the state of the law that only citizens can vote in federal elections.”

“We know that it is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections,” Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell added. “Under current law, noncitizens would face up to five years in prison for attempting to vote in federal elections and even risk being deported.”

They’re all factually correct; it is illegal for noncitizens to register to vote or vote in federal elections.

But what’s stopping them? A small square box on a voter registration form that individuals must check affirming that they’re telling the truth.

The current law is largely toothless, resting on the honor system to ensure that American citizens’ votes aren’t diluted by illegal votes. That honor system enabled 11,198 noncitizens, according to the Washington Times, to register to vote in Pennsylvania despite — as Democrats have made so clear — it being illegal.

By ensuring that no one could join the voter rolls without proving their citizenship, the SAVE Act adds teeth.

Another critique Democrats lobbed at the legislation on Wednesday was that it would prevent Americans from registering to vote with just their driver’s license. In fact, not everyone who can flash a driver’s license is legally eligible to vote in American elections.

States use HAVA, also known as the Help America Vote Act, which checks information about newly registered voters in federal elections against information stored in the state’s motor vehicle administration database. An individual can present his driver’s license number or, if he doesn’t have one, the last four digits of his Social Security number.

But foreign nationals can obtain both of those documents, so obviously neither one proves citizenship.

Further, individuals can easily slip through the HAVA system. Would-be voters in California can indicate on their voter registration form that they lack both a driver’s license identification number and a Social Security number. Those voters are then prompted to provide proof of identity — not citizenship — with IDs as low-security as a gym membership, utility bill, or credit card.

There’s no reason for Democrats to oppose a law that keeps noncitizens from voting, unless they don’t really have a problem with noncitizen voting. The actions of Democrats in leftist-run cities like San Francisco, where aliens can vote in school board elections if they have a child under the age of 19 living in the city, suggest as much. Similarly, New York City liberals fought tooth and nail to allow 800,000 noncitizens to vote in municipal elections but were shot down by the court.

Democrats voted against the SAVE Act for the same reason that not a single Democratic witness during a recent Senate Judiciary hearing on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act could agree that only citizens should vote in federal elections. It’s one of the reasons many Democrats are unbothered by the crisis of millions of illegal aliens pouring over the southern border — why complain when you’re importing a potential expansion of your electorate?

Democrats benefit from loose election security laws.

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