Tag Archives: Proof of Citizenship

J. Christian Adams on The Larry O’Connor Show: Virginia has a problem with non-citizens on voter rolls

“Only citizens should vote. Why is that controversial?”


J. Christian Adams talks with WMAL’s Larry O’Connor about Virginia’s problem with non-citizens registering and voting, a bill passed by the state House that would fix the problem by requiring registrants to provide proof of citizenship, and why Democrats don’t want to fix the problem.

Virginia has a problem with non-citizens getting on the rolls because there’s no proof of citizenship… something more than nothing, which is what we use now, is what passed the Virginia House.

The bill, HB 1598, requires Virginians to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a copy of a birth certificate, when registering to vote. Those who do can vote in all federal, state, and local elections; those who don’t can only vote in federal elections. Why the distinction?

Motor Voter, which is getting aliens on the rolls in the first place – it’s just a promise, you just say ‘I’m a citizen’ and you don’t have to provide any proof – Motor Voter doesn’t let states put on their federal voter registration form this question. But if you use a state voter registration form, or if you’re registering  in state elections, Virginia has the power still under the Constitution to ask for proof of citizenship. . . .


Congress needs to fix this. Motor Voter is working out exactly as the institutional Left had hoped. It’s polluted the rolls with ineligible voters.

Virginia’s Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe knows this and is sure to veto the bill.

He understands this helps Terry McAuliffe win elections, this helps Democrats win elections. The Left, the Democrats realize when you change the process rules, the rules of the game, you can help change the outcomes. . . .


The problem for Terry McAuliffe is that people overwhelmingly support this. They only want Americans picking American leaders. If he wants to stand on the principle that we shouldn’t ask the question whether or not you’re eligible, let him do it.


That’s the divide in this country. One side enables lawlessness, the other side tries to fix it.

Listen here starting at the 2:19 mark.

Virginia House passes bill requiring proof of citizenship when registering to vote

Virginia’s House of Delegates passed a bill on Wednesday requiring voters to provide proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote in state and local elections.


HB 1598, sponsored by Del. Mark Cole, does not extend the proof-of-citizenship requirement to federal elections.

“I would have made it a requirement for any election; however there is a federal court ruling that says you cannot require proof of citizenship for federal elections, which really makes no sense to me,” Cole said.

Registration lists would indicate whether each voter is registered to vote in federal, state, and local elections or in federal elections only.


The bill also directs the Department of Elections to use the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to verify that registered voters are U.S. citizens.


“Committing a felony to vote in an election is something that no non-citizen in their right mind would do,” Democrat Del. Mark Sickles argued in opposition to the bill. Sickles might be surprised to learn that, in fact, non-citizens have registered and voted in Virginia, and there’s no record of any of them being prosecuted.


The bill now goes to the Senate, but if passed is all but certain to be vetoed by Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Federal appeals court blocks proof of citizenship requirement for registering voters

In a 2-1 split decision, the DC Circuit reversed a district court ruling and allowed a preliminary injunction barring Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia from including a proof of citizenship requirement on federal voter registration forms.


For now, that means voters are on the honor system, with no need to verify that they are eligible U.S. citizens beyond checking a box. From the opinion:

Neither this preliminary injunction nor a final judgment would forbid the Commission from including a proof-of-citizenship requirement if it determined that such a requirement was necessary to “effectuate [the States’] citizenship requirement[s].”


Votes of Thousands Who Haven’t Proven Citizenship Could ‘Swing’ Kansas Elections

Only four states have laws on the books requiring proof of citizenship before registering voters. Kansas is one of them, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is fighting in court to maintain that commonsense safeguard against ineligible non-citizens affecting the outcome of the state’s elections.

“There is a huge potential for aliens’ votes to swing a close election,” Kobach told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Even if it’s just a handful of votes, it’s still a huge injustice. Every time an alien votes, it effectively cancels out a vote of a U.S. citizen.”

Plaintiffs in the case, The ACLU, League of Women Voters, et al take the fraud-friendly position that simply signing an affidavit “under penalty of perjury” provides adequate “proof of citizenship” for voter registration purposes – and specifically for voters registering at the DMV. Kobach disagrees.

“If a state wants to ask for proof of citizenship, nothing in the law prevents it,” Kobach said. “The absurdity of the legal argument that the ACLU is advancing is this notion that Congress intended to present a special privilege for people registering to vote at the DMV that other people don’t get to enjoy.”

Obtaining proof of citizenship before registering voters is hardly a new strategy for preventing illegal voting. The 2005 Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform recommended it (along with photo voter ID): “The right to vote is a vital component of U.S. citizenship, and all states should use their best efforts to obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters.”

“This about the rule of law,” Kobach said. “We have law-breaking when it comes to elections, and solving the problem is not difficult.”

Kansas appeals to reinstate proof-of-citizenship rule

Arguing that states “don’t need to be authorized by the federal government” to set up state and local election process rules, Kansas last week asked the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate its requirement that Kansans provide proof of U.S. citizenship before being registered to vote:

The mandate that Kansans present passports, birth certificates or other proof of citizenship when registering to vote while obtaining driver’s licenses was challenged by a U.S. District Court judge in May.


“Every time a noncitizen votes, it effectively cancels out the vote of a citizen,” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in court filings ahead of Tuesday’s oral arguments… “We don’t need to be authorized by the federal government” to set up rules to manage state and local elections.

Ensuring that only eligible citizens are able to vote wasn’t always considered a controversial affront to civil rights, as the ACLU now claims, but a commonsense safeguard.


The 2005 report of the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform included in its recommendations on voter identification: “The right to vote is a vital component of U.S. citizenship, and all states should use their best efforts to obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters.”

“A Great Win for Election Integrity”

Hans von Spakovsky on a great win “for election integrity and everyone (other than the Obama administration and its political allies) who wants to make sure non-citizens don’t illegally vote in our elections. Federal district-court judge Richard Leon issued an order Wednesday refusing to grant the injunction sought by the League of Women Voters (and the U.S. Justice Department to its everlasting shame) against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in litigation over a state requirement that individuals registering to vote provide proof of citizenship.”

Federal judge upholds states’ proof-of-citizenship requirements for registering voters

Via The Washington Times:

Kansas, Alabama and Georgia can demand their residents submit proof of citizenship before signing up to vote even if they’re using the federal government’s registration forms, a judge said Wednesday, delivering a win to states concerned about voter fraud.


The League of Women Voters and the Obama administration had tried to halt the practice, arguing that federal law doesn’t require an extensive citizenship check when people register to vote, and saying the three states were imposing an extra burden on voters.


But Judge Richard J. Leon said that while it may be an inconvenience to require proof of citizenship, and voter registration drives may have to do more work to get folks signed up, it’s not an insurmountable burden — and certainly less so than trying to explain Obamacare.


“The organizational plaintiffs and their members will undoubtedly have to expend some additional time and effort to help individuals,” Judge Leon wrote. “But let’s be candid: doing so pales in comparison to explaining to the average citizen how the [Affordable Care Act] or tax code works!”

The judge rejected plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction.

“Grassley Presses for Answers on Obama Administration Impeding Independent Voting Agency”

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is asking questions about the Justice Department’s refusal to defend the actions of the Election Assistance Commission, an independent federal agency without litigation authority, despite the law requiring the department to represent the commission in court.”  The Justice Department’s “unprecedented action” could result in non-citizens being allowed to register and vote.


Grassley wrote in a letter to the EAC and the Attorney General, “The Committee must evaluate the situation and determine whether the EAC (Election Assistance Commission) needs independent litigation authority in order to truly be free from political influence from the administration.  This case involves the integrity of elections and is taking place in the context of an ongoing Presidential election process.  The potential appearance that the administration is substituting its judgment for the EAC’s is a matter of significant concern.”

“Noncitizen Voting Case Pits Justice Department Against States That Require Proof of Citizenship”


“The free-for-all boxing match among the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, Kansas, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)” over the right of states to require proof of citizenship from people using the federal voter registration form was back in federal court for another hearing on March 9.


Judge Richard Leon presided over a sometimes contentious hearing on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction that would rescind the Election Assistance Commission’s change of the instructions on the federal voter registration form to accommodate a request by Kansas. The Sunflower State wants the form to note that Kansans wishing to register must meet a proof of citizenship requirement.


The interveners again presented solid arguments; the plaintiffs and their allies at the DOJ once again did not:


Following on the DOJ’s “potentially unethical and unprofessional behavior in refusing to carry out its duty to defend” the EAC, “the Federal Programs Branch came into this week’s hearing once again trying to lose the case.  The Justice Department’s lawyer told Leon that it was willing to agree to a preliminary injunction.”  At a previous hearing, Judge Leon called this behavior by the DOJ “unprecedented” and “extraordinary.”


Over the objections of the DOJ and plaintiffs, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, intervening to defend the EAC, deposed EAC Commissioner Christy McCormick. “The Department of Justice was so concerned over McCormick’s testimony and the internal communications between DOJ and the EAC produced for the deposition that it asked Leon for a protective order sealing the deposition… the Justice Department’s attempt to keep them from coming to light suggests that the conflict of interest mentioned in McCormick’s letters may be very serious, indeed.”


Judge Leon asked the “struggling” DOJ lawyer Galen Thorp “if he could name ‘any statute or any case precedent, Supreme Court on down, that a Commission created by Congress doesn’t have the authority to invoke or waive attorney-client privilege[.]’ The lawyer could not…”


Plaintiffs’ lawyer Michael Keats “gave an often rambling, disjointed presentation. Just as at the last hearing, he did not seem to have an in-depth knowledge of the facts or applicable election law” and “made the type of mistake one would expect from a less experienced attorney. Twice he jumped to his feet trying to object to Kobach’s oral argument.”


Judge Leon allowed an additional 10 days for all sides to file supplemental briefs.