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Election Integrity: Trump, Mike Johnson Back Bill Assuring Only US Citizens Vote in Elections

Ben Johnson : Apr 16, 2024  The Washington Stand

"Why would they allow this chaos" at the border? "Why the violence? Because they want to turn these people [illegal immigrants] into voters." -Speaker Mike Johnson

[] After election watchdogs have documented tens of thousands of non-citizens registering to vote in swing states and Republican strongholds alike, President Donald Trump and House Republicans have backed legislation to assure only US citizens vote in national elections. (Screengrab image: via YouTube /The Guardian)

Standing alongside the 45th president at Mar-a-Lago on Friday, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced that House Republicans will "introduce legislation that requires every single person who registers to vote in a federal election must prove [he is] an American citizen." The bill "will require all states to remove non-citizens from their existing voter rolls," and will allow the states to verify potential voters' citizenship through databases run by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. These new safeguards will put America on par "with virtually every other democracy around the world" which also "prohibits non-citizen voting," said Johnson. The broad contours of the proposed legislation resembled the Protecting American Voters Act (H. R. 3162), introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas).

"It seems like common sense. I'm sure all of us would agree: We only want US citizens to vote in US elections. But there are some Democrats who don't want to do that," Speaker Johnson pointed out.

Protecting democracy from non-eligible voters is a vital issue when the US border has been overrun by swarms of illegal immigrants during the Biden administration, Johnson said. "The official number is nine million encounters at the southern border alone, just since Joe Biden took office. But the actual number is probably close to 16 million illegals who have come into the country, because they [Democrats] desired it; they designed it; they engineered it."

"Why would they allow this chaos" at the border? "Why the violence?" asked Johnson. "Because they want to turn these people [illegal immigrants] into voters." (Screengrab image: via CBN News)

Critics say the problem began with the Clinton-era National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), or "Motor-Voter law," which requires states to offer anyone who signs up for a driver's license to also register to vote. The federal form asks voters to check a box saying they are US citizens but takes their word on the honor system. In March 2021, Biden signed Executive Order 14109 to expand voter registration to offices that provide taxpayer-funded benefits.

Neither driver's licenses nor many welfare benefits are restricted exclusively to US citizens.

"Whistleblowers have brought forward instructions that they have received from the head office and their agency in Washington, instructing them that they're supposed to be giving people voter registration and voting materials" to illegal immigrants, revealed Cleta Mitchell, the founder of the Election Integrity Network, on "Washington Watch" Friday.

"Of course" Democrats have created a confluence of open borders and lax voter registration laws, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told "Washington Watch" guest host and former Congressman Jody Hice on Friday. (Hice recently authored the book "Sacred Trust" on election integrity.) "They want them voting. They want them to be counted for redistricting." Under the current chaotic system, "You have people in the country whose allegiance isn't to the country determining the makeup of the district and also the electoral count for president." Mitchell, too, said she had witnessed a "move by the Left to have non-citizens" take US citizens' "rightful place in our most precious decisions."

Opponents say a new law is unnecessary and redundant, since the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 makes it illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections. However, three states and the District of Columbia allow non-citizens to vote in non-federal elections—and independent reviews of state voter rolls have confirmed tens of thousands of non-citizens have registered to vote.

Many have admitted they illegally voted in US elections.

  • In Pennsylvania, Department of State official Jonathan Marks testified that non-citizens voluntarily told the state they had illegally voted 544 times in elections held between 2000 and 2017 —representing one of every 172,000 votes cast in the swing state.
  • An official review of Georgia's voting rolls found 1,634 non-citizens had attempted to register to vote in the swing state between 1997 and 2002.
  • Virginia removed 5,556 non-citizens from its voting rolls between 2011 and 2017. Non-citizens had voted 7,474 times between 1988 and 2017, officials found.
  • North Carolina voter rolls showed 1,454 registered voters who "did not appear to be naturalized before Election Day 2014," according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation, and "89 attempted to vote."
  • Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) admitted to accidentally mailing postcards urging 31,000 non-citizens to vote in the 2022 midterm elections.

Even a few illicit votes could tip elections, as a razor-thin margin has made a massive difference in the last two presidential elections. Joe Biden won the 2020 election by securing the states of Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin with a combined total of only 42,921 votes. In 2016, President Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by 77,244 votes.

A total of 26 elections tied in 2023.

"If only 1 out of 100 [illegal immigrants who entered the US during the Biden-Harris administration] voted, they would cast potentially hundreds of thousands of votes in the election. That could turn an election," warned Johnson.

For some areas, non-citizen voting is not a bug; it's a feature. The following cities and municipalities allow non-citizens to vote legally:

  • Oakland, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Washington, DC
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Montpelier, Vermont
  • Barnesville, Maryland
  • Cheverly, Maryland
  • Chevy Chase (Section 3), Maryland
  • Garrett Park, Maryland
  • Glen Echo, Maryland
  • Hyattsville, Maryland
  • Martin's Additions, Maryland
  • Mount Rainier, Maryland
  • Riverdale Park, Maryland
  • Somerset, Maryland
  • Takoma Park, Maryland
  • Winooski, Vermont

New York City attempted to allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections, with the strong backing of Mayor Eric Adams (D), but judicial review found the state constitution barred the voter dilution plan.

The Democratic Party's leadership rejected the bill out of hand. Democratic National Committee Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd said the joint press conference made it "even more obvious to the American people that the future of our democracy is on the line this November." A statement issued by the Biden campaign through Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said trying to prevent non-citizens from voting in US elections is part of a Republican plot "to regain power at all costs."

A supermajority of Americans believe non-citizens should not have a voice in US elections. A poll of US voters taken in January found 87% of Americans agreed that "proof of United States citizenship should be required to register to vote in American elections," and 67% strongly agreed. A nearly identical margin (86%) said "only United States citizens should be allowed to vote in elections for the American president, senators, and representatives," with 73% strongly in agreement.

Despite widespread belief that American citizens should determine American elections, only seven states prohibit non-citizens from voting: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Ohio. A dozen states—including the swing states of Wisconsin and Nevada, as well as the Republican strongholds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota—have no laws preventing non-citizens from voting. Voters in IowaKentucky, and Wisconsin will decide on ballot measures to assure only US citizens vote in federal, state, or local elections.

The presence of illegal immigrants and legal non-citizens impacts Americans' voting power by counting illegal immigrants in the census. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced the Equal Representation Act (S. 3659 and H.R. 7109), which would ask census-takers if they are US citizens—and count only US citizens when apportioning congressional seats. But the bill failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by a 45-51 vote. (Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined Senate Democrats in killing the measure.) Democrats doubled down on benefiting from the presence of illegal immigrants last Tuesday. Shadow Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a bill prohibiting the US Census from including any question about citizenship, nationality, or immigration status.

Illegal immigrants or legal permanent non-citizens registering to vote, or actually voting, represents but one flaw undermining election integrity. A 2012 Pew Charitable Trust study found one in every eight voter registrations "are no longer valid," including 1.8 million dead people and 2.75 million people registered to vote in more than one state. The Obama-Biden administration stoutly refused to purge voter laws, as required by law, on the grounds that they do not increase voter turnout. After regretting the voting changes states adopted in 2020 in the name of fighting the COVID-19 virus, the Republican National Committee has filed 78 voter integrity lawsuits in 23 states, according to The Daily Caller.

Letting people who do not have a role in American democracy determine US elections should be among the first areas reformed before the 2024 presidential election, advocates say. To prevent the Democrat-controlled Senate from ignoring the election-integrity measure, "we need to attach that bill to something that is moving that must pass and force this administration to sign it," said Perry.

Defending democracy from Democratic plans and non-citizen voting could become a "unifying message" for Republicans after a divisive primary, Perry added. "That's something that we should, as Republicans, all be able to get behind. And if you can't, as a Republican, I would think you need to check and see if you even belong in the Republican Party anymore."

Between an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants, states that issue driver's licenses to non-citizens, and a national law offering to register all licensed drivers to vote, "We've got a perfect storm here, and we need to try to stop it," said Mitchell. "And I'm very grateful that the House is going to take this up."

"We will do everything in our power to ensure that we do have fair and free elections in our country. If we don't have that in a constitutional republic, we have nothing," said Speaker Johnson. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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