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.”