Republicans: Time to close 'loophole' in voter eligibility

Republicans: Time to close 'loophole' in voter eligibility

Republicans: Time to close 'loophole' in voter eligibility

According to The Associated Press, noncitizen voting in America isn't a real danger to the integrity of federal elections. Some members of Congress, however, beg to differ.


Martin, Jenny Beth (Tea Party Patriots) Martin

A tea party leader points out that almost 90% of Americans agree proof of citizenship should be required in order to register to vote. Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots, explains the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act (SAVE Act) is actually pretty simple.

"It requires proof of citizenship to register to vote in federal elections," she tells AFN. "And it amends the National Voter Registration Act – which is really what gave us a 'motor voter' law – to require proof of citizenship rather than just merely checking a box and testing that you're a citizen without any proof as it is right now."

Martin is convinced the legislation could very well gain bipartisan support in Congress.

"[According to Tea Party Patriots Action poll earlier this year] 87% of Americans agree that we should require proof of citizenship to register to vote – and that includes 75% of people who say that they are Democrats," she emphasizes. "This is an action that the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on across the political divide."

Last month, AP published an article headlined "Noncitizen voting isn't an issue in federal elections, regardless of conspiracy theories." The article argues there is no indication that noncitizens vote "in significant numbers" in federal elections – or that they will in the future.

"It's already a crime for them to do so," the article continues. "And we know it's not a danger because various states have examined their rolls and found very few noncitizen voters. To be clear, there have been cases of noncitizens casting ballots, but they are extremely rare."

In contrast, three Republican members of Congress – House Speaker Mike Johnson, Rep. Chip Roy (Texas), and Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) – recently joined representatives from various conservative organizations for a news conference to announce the launch of the Only Citizens Vote Coalition.

The objective of the group is to educate voters about the importance of election integrity and push for the passage of the "Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act" – also referred to as the SAVE Act. The measure amends the "Motor Voter" law to require that states obtain documentary proof of citizenship before they can register someone to vote.

According to the Coalition, the combination of almost 22 million potential noncitizen voters and 19 states issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens creates a "dangerous loophole" – because federal law requires a license or Social Security number to confirm voter eligibility.

A 'novel idea'

AFN spoke with a pro-family activist who supports the SAVE Act. "What a novel idea to make sure that only citizens are allowed to vote in our country," says Janet Porter, founder and president of Faith2Action.

"It's long overdue to clamp down on this. I'm very encouraged by what took place," she says. "They're moving in that direction, and I think that the SAVE Act is a great way to do that – and I think that we need more of it, not less."

Porter, Janet (F2A) Porter

Porter says voter integrity is the most important issue as we face the future.

"As we heard in the past, it's not the votes that are cast that count, it's who counts the vote. And if you're counting votes from noncitizens, from mail-in fraud, from the machines that are altering the results, we had better get on this or we're going to forever wish we had."

AFN reported in January that the Honest Elections Project argues election integrity should be on the minds of all American voters this year.

"This is easily a top-five issue," said Jason Snead, that group's executive director. "Even though each one of us has issues that aren't directly related to elections that we may be very passionate about, if we don't get elections right none of those other issues matter."

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