Biden Officially Opposes Voter Citizenship Proof Bill

Administration Rejects Republican-Backed SAVE Act Over Voting Restrictions.

President Joe Biden formally rejected a bill in Congress on Monday that would require individuals to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in federal elections. The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) earlier this year, is set to be voted on in the Republican-led House as soon as this week.

In a policy statement, the Biden administration expressed strong opposition to the SAVE Act, highlighting the existing federal laws that already make it illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. The statement emphasized, “The alleged justification for this bill is based on easily disproven falsehoods,” and noted that false claims of citizenship or unlawful voting can lead to deportation and a permanent ban from the U.S.

  • Current Safeguards: The administration underscored that states have effective measures in place to verify voter eligibility and maintain accurate voter rolls.

  • Increased Burden: The bill would make it significantly harder for eligible Americans to register to vote and could lead to wrongful purges of voter rolls.

While a few states and Washington, D.C., allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, Republicans argue that the SAVE Act is necessary to address the ongoing border crisis and ensure election integrity. The act would also prompt states to remove non-citizens from voter rolls for federal elections upon receiving verified information of their non-citizenship.

Rep. Roy highlighted the current federal law, which prohibits states from verifying citizenship status during voter registration for federal elections. “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 …” Roy posted on X.

House Democrat leaders have urged opposition to the bill, claiming it would prevent Americans from registering to vote using their driver’s license alone and would make a passport the only acceptable standalone form of identification. They argue that this would create an “extreme burden for countless Americans” and add undue pressure on election officials and states’ capabilities to enroll new voters.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) recently released a report supporting the SAVE Act, warning of a National Voter Registration Act “loophole” that relies on individuals’ self-attestation of citizenship without requiring proof. The report cited instances of noncitizens appearing on voter rolls in various states as evidence of the need for the bill.

The Biden administration maintains that the current laws effectively prevent noncitizen voting, asserting that it is “extraordinarily rare” for noncitizens to illegally vote in federal elections. Biden has reiterated his commitment to protecting Americans’ right to vote in free, fair, and secure elections and has encouraged Congress to consider Democrat-led voting practice bills while also calling for a bipartisan approach to border security.

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