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Biden Formally Opposes Bill Requiring Voters Prove Citizenship

Last Updated 1 week by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

President Joe Biden formally rejected on Monday a bill in Congress that would require individuals to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in elections for federal office.

A policy statement from the Biden administration said it “strongly opposes” the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, which was introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) earlier this year and is expected to get a vote in the Republican-led House as early as this week, but did not mention the prospect of a veto.

“It is already illegal for noncitizens to vote in Federal elections — it is a Federal crime punishable by prison and fines. The alleged justification for this bill is based on easily disproven falsehoods,” the statement said. “Additionally, making a false claim of citizenship or unlawfully voting in an election is punishable by removal from the United States and a permanent bar to admission.”

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The statement added, “States already have effective safeguards in place to verify voters’ eligibility and maintain the accuracy of voter rolls. This bill would do nothing to safeguard our elections, but it would make it much harder for all eligible Americans to register to vote and increase the risk that eligible voters are purged from voter rolls.”

While some municipalities in a few states and Washington, D.C., allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, Republicans have argued the SAVE Act — which also would push states to remove non-citizens from voter rolls for federal office “at any time upon receipt of documentation or verified information that a registrant is not a United States citizen” — is needed to combat the ongoing border crisis and shore up election integrity.

“Federal law currently PROHIBITS states from verifying citizenship status during registration for federal elections,” Roy posted to X on Monday. “The SAVE Act requires proof of citizenship to register and would remove non-citizens from voter rolls. What are Democrats fearful of?  This is basic stuff, you would think …”

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House Democrat leaders urged their peers to oppose the bill, claiming it would “prevent Americans from registering to vote with their drivers’ license alone” and make a passport the “only acceptable standalone form of identification,” per Axios. They also said the bill would create an “extreme burden for countless Americans” and “further intimidate election officials and overburden states’ abilities to enroll new voters.”

Axios noted Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) released a report last month in favor of the SAVE Act, warning of a National Voter Registration Act “loophole” that “does not require states to ask for proof of citizenship when registering an individual to vote in federal elections,” but rather “relies on individuals to merely attest they are a citizen and eligible to vote.” The report also cited evidence of noncitizens on voter rolls in various states.

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The Biden administration’s statement said the “evidence is clear that the current laws to prevent noncitizen voting are working as intended — it is extraordinarily rare for noncitizens to break the law by voting in Federal elections.” It added Biden “has been clear: he will continue fighting to protect Americans’ sacred right to vote in free, fair, and secure elections” while encouraging Congress to consider Democrat-led bills on voting practices and pushing the House GOP to vote on a bipartisan border deal has failed to gain traction.

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