Data researcher lays out facts on noncitizens voting: They could help choose next president

Data researcher lays out facts on noncitizens voting: They could help choose next president

Data researcher lays out facts on noncitizens voting: They could help choose next president

While numerous media outlets downplay the possibility noncitizens will cast a ballot in this fall’s elections, a report released this month a think tank justifies the concern.

Just Facts, a right-leaning research institute, found that 10% to 27% of noncitizen adults in the U.S. are now illegally registered to vote. 

When the subject of illegal immigrants voting is covered by traditional media, it’s often disregarded as a minor occurrence such as:

This from USA Today.

This from The Washington Post.

This from The Associated Press.

Or in the case of a New York Times op-ed, it’s outright supported.

Government-run National Public Radio called voter registration for illegals an accident in 2019 and called the voting of illegals a myth just two months ago.

Just Facts, meanwhile, relied heavily on a 2014 report by three scholars for the academic journal Electoral Studies, and on updated 2022 noncitizen voter registration data, to reach its conclusions.

The group reports that the U.S. Census recorded more than 19 million adult noncitizens living in the U.S. during 2022.

In presidential elections, roughly half of noncitizens who are registered turn out to vote. Given that about 10% to 27% of them are currently registered, this means about 5% to 13% of them will illegally vote in the 2024 presidential and congressional elections, according to James Agresti, Just Facts co-founder and a frequent contributor for national media.

Agresti, James Agresti

“Based on the latest available data, approximately 1 million to 2.7 million noncitizens are going to vote  in the upcoming presidential election. That is more than enough to tip the results of congressional races and yes, the U.S. presidency,” Agresti said on Washington Watch Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans von Spakovsky delivered a similar warning in a Washington Watch interview. He said inadequate oversight of the registration process at the state level is the biggest problem with noncitizen voting, a problem that was in place before Biden took office.

Citizen ‘proof’ too easy to obtain

Noncitizens are asked if they’re a citizen or if they’re eligible to vote. They may even be asked for some form of proof, but it’s a weak requirement that is easily skirted, Agresti said.

“If you look at the federal photo registration form, it says you can submit all different forms of ID to register. That could be a Social Security number, that could be a driver’s license number, or it could just be a utility bill,” Agresti told show host Jody Hice. “These are things that anyone can get by living here that do not prove your U.S. citizenship. More than that, a lot of noncitizens have fake social security numbers, especially illegal immigrants. That’s what they do to work.”

Recent data released by the Social Security Administration showed 2.5 million noncitizens currently have a Social Security number gained by using fake birth certificates or from stealing actual Social Security numbers from a U.S. citizen.

The data confirms the widely held belief that noncitizens lean heavily to Democratic candidates, Agresti said.

“The vast bulk of these noncitizens are voting for Democrats. According to the best data we have, about 80% of them will vote for Democrats when they vote illegally, and Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to prevent any kind of checking the peoples’ citizenship,” he said.

They have fought successfully at each level of the courts.

The Supreme Court in 2013 voted 7-2 that states may not require additional proof of citizenship on federal forms designed to streamline voter registration procedures. The ruling struck down Arizona’s requirement – approved by the state’s voters – that prospective voters prove their U.S. citizenship.

In 2016, a federal court ruled that a former U.S. Election Assistance Commission official violated federal law that year when he allowed three states – Alabama, Georgia and Kansas – to require documentary proof of citizenship on the federal voter registration form.

Two years later, those states lost on appeal before a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C.

Too late for SAVE Act?

House Speaker Mike Johnson announced the SAVE Act last week, the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act. It would ban noncitizens from voting and would require proof of citizenship in the form of photo ID or a birth certificate.

Six months before the election, it’s a longshot to become law before ballots are cast, particularly with a Democrat-held Senate.

Timing will likely push any kind of voter registration accountability into the realm of post-election legal challenges.

“In the aftermath of the election, and you hate to have a repeat of 2020," Agresti said, "but there should be some accountability, some lawsuits that demand proof that people are who they say they are in tight races. None of that was secured in the last round of election lawsuits, and it needs to be there.

“A candidate has to make a plea and say, ‘Hey, I want this data to prove that these people who are registered and voted actually are citizens,’” he said.