July 10, 2024 | By William Osmulski
Policy Issues
Accountable Government Ballot Integrity

Proposals to Block Illegal Aliens from Voting Advance, Despite the Left’s Objections

It’s always gone without saying that you have to be a US citizen to vote in US elections, that is until now.

The US Constitution guarantees the right to vote to all US citizens who are over 18 years old. Most Americans agree with both the letter and spirit of that requirement. One survey found that 85% of Americans believe that only citizens should be allowed to vote. There are those, however, who challenge this conventional wisdom.

President Joe Biden, House and Senate Democrats, and liberal activists are all actively opposing any effort to stop non-citizens from voting in US elections. Republicans say the reason for their position is obvious: Democrats hope that the millions of illegal aliens who have entered the country since 2020 will become Democrat voters.

The left has been pushing this for years, and those efforts are starting to pay off. Non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections in 14 US cities including Washington DC. Many of those communities simply do not specify that you must be a citizen to vote, which the left exploited as a loophole. Five of those communities, however, passed ordinances in the past three years to specifically allow non-citizens to vote.

Wisconsin Elections

Wisconsin does not allow non-citizens to vote in any local elections, but there are advocates for changing that. Republicans kicked up a hornet’s nest in 2021 when they introduced a resolution to amend the state constitution to ban non-citizens from voting in the state.

The League of Women Voters, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Common Cause in Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Democracy Campaign all registered against the resolution. Not one Democrat in the State Senate or Assembly supports it.

Some tried to argue that banning non-citizens from voting would make it harder for citizens to vote too. Others came right out and said that non-citizens should be allowed to vote in local elections, including Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) during the actual floor debate in 2022. Wisconsin Voices even said that illegal aliens should be allowed to vote in Wisconsin’s local elections during a committee hearing in 2023.

The legislature approved the resolution last session and this session. On the November ballot, Wisconsin voters will now be presented with the question: “Eligibility to vote. Shall section 1 of article III of the constitution, which deals with suffrage, be amended to provide that only a United States citizen age 18 or older who resides in an election district may vote in an election for national, state, or local office or at a statewide or local referendum?”

If the majority of voters say yes, then the state constitution will be amended to require citizenship to vote in Wisconsin.

US Elections

That change might settle the issue in Wisconsin, but Republicans in Congress believe something needs to be done on the national level too. They introduced the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act in May that would require individuals to provide proof of citizenship to register to vote in federal elections. It would also require states to remove non-citizens from their lists of eligible voters.

Current law already specifically bans non-citizens from voting in federal elections, and they can be fined or jailed if they do. The law, however, does not direct government officials to do anything to prevent non-citizens from voting in the first place.

House Speaker Mike Johnson says that loophole, “combined with the Biden Administration’s willful disregard of U.S. immigration law that has allowed the U.S. foreign-born population to grow by 5.1 million people in the last two years alone and by 6.6 million since President Biden took office, could lead to millions of noncitizens registering to vote. Should this happen, it would jeopardize the integrity of our elections, turning the outcome of the 2024 election over to foreign persons and potentially even foreign interests.”

Just as at the state level, Democrats in Congress and their leftist allies are unified in their opposition to this proposal. Because Republicans believe that having millions of illegal aliens roaming the country pose an election security risk, liberals accuse them of pushing conspiracy theories and xenophobia. Another common argument is that it is already illegal to vote if you’re not a citizen. As WISN-AM’s Jay Weber explained on his show, there are lots of things that are illegal that Democrats successfully ignore.

“Democrats today don’t seem to understand what illegal means, so we on the right have learned we need to be explicit with you,” Weber said. “No illegals voting. We want a law that is plainly stated so you can’t ignore it and so if you do, the courts can smack you down right away.”

MacIver Institute CEO Annette Olson stated simply, “America’s Citizens have enjoyed a special right – the right to choose those to represent their common interests. The right reserved for only legal citizens to self-govern is in danger and must be preserved for posterity.”

Congress will get its chance to debate that idea and vote on the SAVE Act on Wednesday, July 10th. Wisconsin voters will get their chance to vote on amending the state constitution to protect future Wisconsin elections during the presidential election in November.

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