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Weekly Spotlight: The Nonissue of Noncitizen Voting

On Thursday, the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration held a hearing on the threat of foreign interference in American elections.

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On Thursday, the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration held a hearing on the threat of foreign interference in American elections. At the hearing, the spotlight was on the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, a bill that would require proof of citizenship to register to vote in federal elections. Its proponents claim it will prevent noncitizen voter fraud — but claims that this is a widespread issue are simply false and baldly xenophobic.

It’s important to note that noncitizens are already barred from voting in elections under both federal and state laws. And numerous assessments of the claim — including by a Trump administration commission — found no evidence of widespread noncitizen voter fraud. Voter fraud of any kind is in fact “exceedingly rare.”

What this really is (and we recognize it because we’ve witnessed it before) is a timely attempt to sow fear, misinformation, and distrust about our voting system ahead of the presidential election. If enacted, the bill could serve to deter millions of eligible votersdisproportionately people of color — from registering because, for varying reasons, they don’t have a valid form of identification.

POGO strongly opposes this bill. Eligible voters, regardless of race or background, must have fair access to the ballot for our democracy to be a democracy. It’s vital that the House vote this bill down to protect voter rights and to prevent dangerous myths from taking hold before the election this fall.


 

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“So the agency says [it is] taking steps to fix these issues. Others, including insiders, are skeptical.”

Nick Schwellenbach, Senior Investigator, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin


 

OVERHEAD

Read the statement from our coalition partners at the Southern Border Communities Coalition.