House Dems launch united effort against election bill requiring voters prove citizenship

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House Democrats launched a united effort to vote against a Republican-backed election bill that would require voters provide proof of citizenship to cast ballots in federal elections. 

Republicans are pushing the passage of the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act, otherwise known as the SAVE Act, which would amend the National Voter Registration Act, and require states to obtain proof of citizenship from voters for federal elections, as well as purge noncitizens from voter rolls. 

Democratic leadership is urging its House members to vote against the bill in the lead-up to the vote, saying it would place “an extreme burden [on] countless Americans” in order to vote. 

“As we’ve seen a number of times this Congress, House Republicans continue to irresponsibly call into question the credibility of our elections. Despite numerous recounts, challenges in court, and deep-dives by conservative think-tanks, there has been zero evidence of the widespread fraud that this bill purports to target. It is already illegal under current law for noncitizens to register to vote or to vote in federal elections,” the office of House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., wrote in a “whip question,” Axios first reported. The whip vote rounds up this coming weeks’ votes and outlines guidance regarding how Democratic House members should vote. 


“Democrats are urged to VOTE NO on H.R. 8281,” the whip question states. 

Republican House leadership, meanwhile, is urging the bill’s passage, with House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., posting on X that “the SAVE Act will safeguard our elections by ensuring only American citizens vote in federal elections.”

He detailed in the X thread that, if passed, the law would: require “state election officials to ask about citizenship before providing voter registration forms”; require “an individual to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in federal elections”; allow “state officials to accept a wide variety of documents that will make it easy for CITIZENS to register to vote in federal elections”; provide “states with access to federal agency databases so they can remove noncitizens from voter rolls and confirm citizenship for individuals lacking proof of citizenship,” among other directives. 

Under the legislation, voters would be required to provide proof of citizenship via IDs and documentation such as a passport, a government-issued photo ID showing proof the individual was born in the U.S., military IDs, or a valid photo ID as well as documentation showing proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, the legislation states. 


Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy introduced the legislation in May, with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introducing the Senate’s companion bill, and received widespread support from Republican lawmakers who said it would secure elections. Johnson notably unveiled the bill earlier this year alongside former President Trump in a high-profile press conference at Mar-a-Lago. 

“Secure elections are a key cornerstone for any representative government; without them, we won’t have a country. Radical progressive Democrats know this and are using open border policies while also attacking election integrity laws to fundamentally remake America. That’s why I am proud to introduce the SAVE Act with Speaker Johnson and my Republican colleagues, along with the invaluable support of citizens and organizations that recognize we must end the practice of non-citizens voting in our elections,” Roy said on May 8. 


Johnson circulated a 22-page report late last month urging House members to pass the legislation, contending there is “irrefutable evidence that noncitizens have been illegally registering to vote and have illegally voted in U.S. elections.”

“While falsely claiming the 2016 election was ‘stolen’ due to ‘foreign election interference,’ Democrats ignore the real threat of foreign election interference posed when noncitizens are allowed to register and vote in U.S. elections,” Johnson wrote in the report. “Lax voter registration laws make it possible for noncitizens to register and vote in federal elections while campaign finance loopholes allow noncitizens to fund U.S. election activities – both of which can affect the outcome of our elections.”


Johnson’s X thread championing the legislation last week received support from fellow Republicans, as well as critics of the Democratic Party. Tech billionaire Elon Musk notably sounded off that lawmakers who vote against the bill are “traitors” to the U.S. 

“Those who oppose this are traitors. All Caps: TRAITORS What is the penalty for traitors again?” Elon Musk posted in response to Johnson’s post. 

The Constitution calls on traitors guilty of treason to be sentenced to death or be imprisoned for no less than five years. They are also to be fined no less than $10,000 and be barred from ever holding office in the U.S.

The bill comes as the immigration crisis continues mounting under the Biden administration, with at least 1.6 million migrants designated as “gotaways” alone between Fiscal Year 2021 to Fiscal Year 2023, Fox previously reported. Gotaways are individuals who evade Border Patrol agents. 

Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report. 

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