Skip to comments.Can States Require Proof of Citizenship for Voting?
Posted on 04/01/2014 6:18:00 PM PDT by jazusamo
In 2011, Kansas passed the SAFE Act Safe and Fair Elections which requires voter ID, proof of citizenship and signature verification. In other words, its designed to make sure that all votes cast in Kansas are cast legally by the person identified as the voter. The law was to go into effect January 1, 2013. But the Obama administration stood in the way.
At issue are the forms states use to register voters for federal elections. Kansas and Arizona require proof of citizenship, while the federal governments form incredibly does not. The federal government attempted to force Kansas to use its federal voter registration form. A lawsuit ensued, and Kansas (along with Arizona) won in federal court last month. The outcome affirms the right of states to set requirements for voting within their territory. The Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring voter ID in 2008.
Critics claim that the citizenship requirement is discriminatory, but Senior Legal Fellow of the Heritage Foundation, Hans von Spakovsky, who studies the impact of election integrity laws on elections and called that charge silly, noting that its a felony for non-citizens to vote in US federal elections. Therefore, verifying citizenship is just a matter of enforcing existing election law.
Von Spakovsky made his comments Tuesday evening on a conference call organized by True the Vote. The Houston, Texas-based organization is a grass-roots group dedicated to improving the security and integrity of elections across the United States. Its president and founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, moderated the conference call.
Von Spakovsky noted that the court found that the federal government acted well outside its legal powers, when it fought against requiring proof of citizenship and tried to force Kansas to change its own voter registration forms.
Should other states adopt citizenship requirements? Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, architect of the SAFE Act, says that the federal ruling certainly opens the door. Kobach said states that currently have photo ID laws are likely to follow and require citizenship. There are currently about 11 states that require voters produce photo ID when voting. Kobach also noted that court ruled that the federal government simply lacks the power to force states to use the federal voter registration form, despite its assertion of that power against Kansas SAFE Act. The states, said Kobach, have the power to both set and enforce their voter registration standards, within the bounds of federal requirements.
The judge ruled that The [National Voting Rights Act] does not empower the federal government to second-guess the states on voter registration, Kobach said. The Kansas law spells out proof of citizenship, and even allows voters to supply their proof later if they fail to bring it with them when they register to vote.
Critics also charge that requiring voter ID suppresses votes. Von Spakovsky shot that down. I went into states that have passed photo ID requirements and took at look at what happened with the turnout after those laws went into effect. He noted that Tennessee has passed photo ID, and in 2012, the first election held with photo ID in place, the black vote surged. Spakovsky also brought up Texas, which is currently under federal lawsuit over its voter ID law. He found that in Texas 2013 constitutional amendment election, turnout went up across the board compared to 2011′s constitutional amendment election, and dramatically in predominantly minority areas. His finding lines up with my own study of voter IDs impact in the Lone Star State. Yet critics continue to claim, against hard evidence, that voter ID suppresses votes.
Its almost as if the facts dont matter to the critics, von Spakovsky quipped.
Kobach noted that he has been subjected to protests, including a group of illegal alien appearing at his family home to oppose the SAFE Act, but that has not deterred him and will not.
If we cant have fair and free elections, how can we have any faith in the system? he asked rhetorically. He noted that despite claims by critics that election fraud does not exist, as Kansas secretary of state he has seen cases in which illegal aliens attempted to register to vote in the state, either because they applied or someone filled out a registration form on their behalf. He also noted a Kansas City, MO case in 2010 in which Somali nationals were seen lining up and voting, under coaching from a leader, for a specific candidate in a Democratic primary for a safe Democratic seat.
That was a case of an election being stolen, Kobach said. He also noted several additional cases, in several states, in which non-citizens were registered, coached and used to swing local elections. They may not even know that they are breaking the law, Kobach said, noting that those who register them and coach are aware that what they are doing is illegal. When I hear stories like that, I know Im doing the right thing, he concluded.
Its fundamental to the operation of our republic that our election integrity is maintained and improved, added True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht.
You can’t get a job in fast food without a birth certificate,but Dems want just anyone to vote?
We might be dead...but we still vote.
It’ll be a bad day for voter fraudsters should the day come all states require proof of citizenship, it won’t stop it but will sure put a dent in it.
The day after the 2012 election, Obama’s DREAM act clowns showed up to protest the secretary of state for refusing to give them driver’s licenses. They actually claimed that trying to vote without ID made them feel singled out.
The SOS told them that it was a crime for them to vote and Obama created their legal limbo and if they had a problem with it they should take it up with him.
It must be noted that I live in one of the most "progressive" (meaning Maoist) towns in the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.That would explain why the town official was so outraged by my question.
The first time I voted in your state (when I lived there) I tried to show ID and the poll workers refused to look at it.
I knew an illegal alien who was proud of the fact that he regularly voted in your state.
Yep, as a flaming lib she was offended you’d even ask that question.
States should put up as MANY roadblocks to voting as possible... It should be one of the HARDEST things to do... And voter roles should be purged early & often...
78% of Likely U.S. Voters believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote. Thats up from 71% a year ago.
Just 19% oppose that requirement.
Yep, it’s simply common sense.
Judicial Watch plans to sue states with dirty voter rolls ... more registered voters than people eligible to vote.
Refusing the allow a governmental jurisdiction to require a valid ID to vote for one’s elected officials is simply idiotic. How any honest person with even half a brain support such a point of view? It’s time the electorate insists on this so obviously logical need and do so in droves outside every Registrar of Voter’s office and at every congressman’s and all state elected officials’ offices.
Only people determined to steal election with illegal votes would oppose fair elections.
It is an Alice in Wonderland world ain’t it. To vote their is only two requirements, you are 18 years old and a citizen. It boggles the mind that anyone would object to proof of these requirements to become eligible to vote. We live in a country where proof is needed to buy a 16 oz Budweiser but not to vote, just lunacy.
Those 19% should be stripped of their U.S. Citizenship. They do not value the United States of America as a Sovereign Nation.
Lunacy is the most appropriate word I can think of and it applies to the minority because the vast majority are for proof of citizenship.
It shows that those who make the most noise, even if they’re wrong get the attention of the media and disingenuous politicians.
Good one...Sadly that’s probably the case in many places.
Why would we want to allow the law to be enforced? If you did that, we might have to enforce other laws.
Not sure if giving a false "Yes" to the citizenship question constitutes perjury under Michigan law. Has anyone ever been prosecuted for that? Note that the registrant does NOT sign that form specifically under penalty of perjury.
Thank you so very much, Kris Kobach, Hans Von Spakovsky, and Catherine Engelbrecht - all quoted in the article - for their staunch support of this requirement. They and others advocating for the cause are true patriots!
Note that the proof citizenship requirement is separate and apart from the photo ID requirement, though the two complement each other very well in enhancing the integrity of the election procedure. Only cheaters and fraudsters - almost all on the political left - have any reason to oppose either safeguard.
Thanks for the ping.
In Texas, we already have to show ID to vote...thank you TX State Legislature and AG Abbott. Adding a citizenship requirement would be spectacular.
God bless and keep those who are fighting in the trenches for this.
That's a good reason why the 'Rats are so frustrated in their efforts to change Texas from red to blue with their demographic machinations. I'm sure they are really pissed off because they completely controlled the state for over a hundred years (as they did just about the entire Old Confederacy).
Why don’t the states just make a law requiring every person in the state to have a state issued photo ID, which includes their citizenship status? If they had a law such as that, then it shouldn’t be a problem to enforce a voter ID law.
In Wisconsin, weve had a law requiring us to show ID for several years now, but a judge says that they are not allowed to enforce it.
This is all just a ploy to require photos and proof of citizenship on food stamp cards, so that only the listed recipients can receive the benefits, and they’ll have to be citizens or legal residents. That way, illegal aliens and poor people and their puppy dogs will starve! They’re only trying to exercise the rights that the founding fathers fought and died for, to vote! And thanks to not having photo ID and citizenship requirements, in several states many of the founding fathers still are voting, along with Aldous Huxley, William F. Buckley Jr. (now he’s a Democrat), Joe deMaggio and Buggs Bunny. Even Popeye and Bluto are now voting Democrat early and often, putting aside old enmities to have threesomes with Olive Oyle, and Tea Baggers want to stop all that with their insidious citizenship requirements! WAAAAAAH!
That's one reason that proof of citizenship is required to vote in KS.