Under current law, there is no provision requiring people to present proof of citizenship before registering to vote or casting a ballot, other than stating that they are a citizen.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
- The senate has not votedIntroducedJuly 18th, 2013
What is it?
Sponsoring Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) filed S. 1336 in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule an Arizona proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirement. According to the Senator, his bill would force states to be more vigilant when checking the citizenship of individuals attempting to register to vote.
Cruz stated that under the current “Motor Voter” law, non-citizens are effectively allowed to participate in elections, which undermines the value of American citizenship:
“The right to vote is a fundamental building block of our nation’s democratic process and it is crucial that we have the measures in place to uphold the integrity of our elections.”
Proponents of Cruz’s bill claim that Americans downplay voter fraud, ignoring historical examples like the infamous “graveyard” voters in Chicago who turned out in massive numbers to vote on behalf of the city’s powerful and corrupt mayor, Richard Daley.
Opponents of Cruz’s bill have built their counter-argument on the grounds that voter fraud does not seem to occur with great frequency in the modern era. The Department of Justice reported that of 197 million votes cast between 2002 and 2005, just 40 were cast by ineligible voters. While this may only represent a fraction of all fraudulent votes cast, the actual number is unlikely to be much higher since the value of a single vote rarely outweighs the punishment: up to 5 years in prison.
(Photo credit: Geograph.org.uk)