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house Bill H.R. 951

Should States be Allowed to Require Proof of Citizenship When Registering Voters?

Argument in favor

Current registration forms have almost no safeguards against non-citizens registering to vote — federal standards only require a checked box and a signature. States should be able to require voters to prove their eligibility to vote during the registration process.

Dean's Opinion
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02/10/2016
If being a citizen is a requirement to vote, then proving you are should be as well. They are consistent.
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Jay's Opinion
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02/10/2016
You need a government issued ID to purchase alcohol, tobacco, and even to pick up certified mail. Why would this be different? How would this suppress minorities. Silly argument.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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02/10/2016
Illegals shouldn't be able to make decisions that greatly affect citizens.
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Argument opposed

This bill has voter suppression written all over it — under the guise of state's rights. It aims to make it harder for eligible voters to cast their ballots. States should try to get more voters out, not deter them from turning up.

BernieSanders's Opinion
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02/18/2016
“We have got to end this outrageous voter suppression which is taking place in dozens of states – efforts that are intentionally denying low-income people, people of color and seniors the ability to participate in the political process.” [berniesanders.com]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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02/18/2016
“This has to be a priority. If this isn't working, nothing's working. We’ve got to get it done... We have state legislatures… trying to make it harder to vote.” [thehill.com]
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Rachel's Opinion
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02/10/2016
There is barely an iota of actual voter fraud occurring. Stop wasting taxpayer money to rig elections by excluding rightful voters.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Administration
    IntroducedFebruary 12th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 951?

This bill would allow states to require people who are registering to vote using the Election Assistance Commission’s registration form to provide documentary evidence that they are U.S. citizens as a condition to the state’s acceptance of the application.

States would have the ability to request evidence in addition to what is required by the current federal form, which asks an applicant to check a box and attest to their citizenship with a signature.

Impact

Voters in states that would choose to enforce stricter citizenship requirements than exist on the federal voter registration form, and state governments.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 951

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced this legislation to let states decide for themselves whether to put in place additional requirements to determine an applicant’s citizenship in the voter registration process:

“It has long been understood that election integrity is absolutely critical to the peaceful transfer of power and a society’s democratic self-determination. Unfortunately, the federal government’s voter registration standards leave in place only nominal safeguards to prevent non-citizens from registering for the most sacred of democratic rights…

The State Sovereignty in Voting Act makes very, very clear that the states are free to enact their own additional safeguards to protect the integrity of the franchise from those seeking to fraudulently influence America’s elections.”

This bill currently has four cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Of Note: Currently, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 makes no mention of whether states are permitted to require the submission of evidence that an applicant is a citizen. But rulings in a 2013 Supreme Court case Arizona v. The Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona and a 2014 federal appeals court case prevented the state of Arizona from enforcing stricter citizenship requirements than exist on the federal form.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Chris Ford)

AKA

State Sovereignty in Voting Act

Official Title

To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to permit a State to require an applicant for voter registration in the State who uses the Federal mail voter registration application form developed by the Election Assistance Commission under such Act to provide documentary evidence of citizenship as a condition of the State's acceptance of the form.

    If being a citizen is a requirement to vote, then proving you are should be as well. They are consistent.
    Like (196)
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    “We have got to end this outrageous voter suppression which is taking place in dozens of states – efforts that are intentionally denying low-income people, people of color and seniors the ability to participate in the political process.” [berniesanders.com]
    Like (558)
    Follow
    Share
    “This has to be a priority. If this isn't working, nothing's working. We’ve got to get it done... We have state legislatures… trying to make it harder to vote.” [thehill.com]
    Like (228)
    Follow
    Share
    You need a government issued ID to purchase alcohol, tobacco, and even to pick up certified mail. Why would this be different? How would this suppress minorities. Silly argument.
    Like (132)
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    Share
    Illegals shouldn't be able to make decisions that greatly affect citizens.
    Like (118)
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    There is barely an iota of actual voter fraud occurring. Stop wasting taxpayer money to rig elections by excluding rightful voters.
    Like (89)
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    Only US citizens should have a vote in how our government is run.
    Like (67)
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    States already do, you need state issued photo ID (Drivers License or Non-Driver ID), or a passport a federally issued photo ID. And to obtain those documents you'll have needed to provide a birth certificate, social security card and a recent bill as proof of address. Non-citizens don't get issued DL's or Passports. So this screening process is already in place. Why is Congress not aware of this? Why are they wasting my time and money on redundant garbage like this bill?
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    If you are already a citizen and know it, then it shouldn't bother you to prove it. This is great and only helps prevent/hinder illegals from voting when they should not be.
    Like (47)
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    The states are already checking that you're a legal resident; this is just one more national hurdle that will turn valid voters away, especially poorer citizens.
    Like (42)
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    The reason why there is no Southern Wall is because Democrats (Mainly) want to get the Mexican People Vote. They want them to come here ILLEGALLY and VOTE. Thats wrong and Unconstitutional. Because when you want 10-13 Million ILLEGALS here and having them to vote, that's going to be hard to combat that for the GOP. So, when Democrats say, "Free This, Free That", they are trying to get the Mexican People ILLEGAL Vote. It's all Brainwashing-Lying Tactics. That's why there should be a proof of Citizenship to LOWER the Number of ILLEGALS, since that's want Democrats want. They want to give FREE CITIZENSHIP TO ILLEGALS. You can't give away Free Freedom & Liberty. That's against the Law & Unconstitutional. Those 2 things aren't free. That's why we have our Men & Women fight for this Great Nation.
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    Voter registration and identification should be required 100% of the time. Having an ID or proof of registration does not deter people from obtaining them. Just like going to the DMV does not deter people from getting a driver's license, requiring a voter registration or voter ID will not deter people from voting. This will help to eliminate voter fraud and keep illegals out of the voting booths.
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    The poor and minorities will be disproportionately affected by this law. We should not be working to decrease the amounts of registered voters in the US, but rather we should be working to increase our numbers and turnout.
    Like (13)
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    We should make it easy for people to vote. Voter fraud is not a real issue and this will deter people from voting.
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    Non-citizens who have legal residency status can get a state-issued driver's license. Voters need to provide proof of citizenship to be on voter registration lists!
    Like (8)
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    Only citizens of this country should have the right to vote on candidates and issues important to Americans. Illegal immigrants will surely vote for candidates and issues that make it easier for them to be able to stay in this country or help their home country, citizens will vote for issues and candidates that they feel will do right for America and Americans.
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    In order to be registered to vote for those running for public office, it needs to be verified that you are an actual citizen of the United States, and not here illegally. Not requiring ID before registering to vote would be the equivalent of me going to another country illegally (such as Mexico or Great Britain) and expecting them to allow me to participate in their elections. It doesn't make sense, and should not be allowed to continue.
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    You should show a government issued ID at every Election period end of issue!
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    I have no problem proving my citizenship to have the right to vote.
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    If you are not one of our citizens you should not be voting if you are here illegally why should they have a say in our laws they shouldn't.
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