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House GOP Introduces Bill Barring Non-Citizens from Voting

Dan Hart : May 10, 2024
The Washington Stand

"...But this isn't a messaging bill. This is something that we believe ought to be law and ought to be law immediately. And we're going to see whether Democrats are serious or not." -Representative Chip Roy

[] As the crisis along America's southern border continues, a large cohort of House Republicans are making it clear that non-citizens cannot be allowed to vote in federal elections with the introduction of a bill Wednesday that would require proof of citizenship to register to vote and would expunge non-citizens from existing voter rolls. (Screengrab image: via CBN)

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) led a group of 49 House GOP members in introducing the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, a bill designed to "thwart Democrat[ic] efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only US citizens to vote in Federal elections," according to a press release from Roy's office. "Radical progressive Democrats ... are using open border policies while also attacking election integrity laws to fundamentally remake America," Roy stated.

In comments endorsing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) remarked, "As we approach the 2024 elections, the American people must have absolute certainty in the integrity of our election system. This bill would fortify federal elections by ensuring that only American citizens vote in American elections."

On Wednesday, Roy joined "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" to discuss why the SAVE Act is needed.

"[W]e've obviously had a massive assault on the rule of law and our well-being and safety and security in the United States," he argued. "Deaths like Laken Riley's, all of the damage in Texas [including] $13 billion [spent on illegal migrants]. But the real foundational problem with what's going on is that we're breaking down the rule of law. ... We do have laws on the books today that require that you be a citizen to vote. The problem is that there are federal laws under the Motor Voter Act that prohibit states from being able to check that and to ensure that only citizens are registered. So this bill will clear that out and in fact, go one step further, which is to require states to provide documentary proof of citizenship in order to register to vote."

Roy continued, "We allow some carve outs and some things to be able to make it work for the secretaries of State to get it implemented, but largely, we've got to make sure that there are no ways for them to end run it. We need to make sure that only citizens vote—it's an 87% issue [when Americans are polled], and it's foundational to our faith in elections and faith in our Republican democracy in this country."

Roy went on to point out that a number of jurisdictions around the country are already allowing non-citizens to vote in elections, which underscores the need for the SAVE Act.

"[Y]ou've got such a division because of existing federal law," he explained. "Arizona, for example, has two systems, one for their state elections, where they require proof of citizenship, and then the federal system where they're unable to provide the proof of citizenship requirement. Then you've got jurisdictions like DC, you've had some in California that have been encouraging non-citizens to register to vote and to vote in their local elections. Now, our bill wouldn't prohibit that. But what we would say is, under the Constitution, Congress has the authority and the power and, frankly, the responsibility to go in and to say, ‘Look, we're going to demand that you prove citizenship if you're going to vote in federal elections.' ... [W]hat we know is going to happen [is] radical states ... are going to undermine our presidential elections and our congressional elections by allowing non-citizens to vote." (Screengrab image: via WSJ)

As reported by The Washington Stand's Ben Johnson, an ongoing pattern has already emerged of non-citizens illegally voting in elections. In Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina, thousands of non-citizens were found to be present on voter rolls, with non-citizens voting 7,474 times between 1988 and 2017 in Virginia alone. In Colorado, 31,000 non-citizens accidentally received postcards urging them to vote in the 2022 midterm elections. As election margins become increasingly narrow, and ties become increasingly common, every vote is becoming increasingly consequential.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration's border policies have allowed non-citizens to enter the US at a record-setting rate, increasing the likelihood of more non-citizens attempting to and being allowed to vote.

But with a supermajority of Americans united in the view that only US citizens should be allowed to vote, Roy expressed confidence that the SAVE Act will eventually be enacted.

"The goal here is to get Republicans, obviously in a very thin majority, to get this through the House," he noted. "Hopefully some Democrats will join us for common sense, send it over to the Senate, and we'll see what happens. The more the Democrats can demonstrate how out of touch they really are with the vast majority of Americans, that'll be clear in the election."

"But this isn't a messaging bill," Roy emphasized. "This is something that we believe ought to be law and ought to be law immediately. And we're going to see whether Democrats are serious or not." Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.