Aliens at the Polls: Are Lax Rules Threatening the Integrity of Elections?
Recent reports of noncitizens registering to vote and casting ballots in U.S. elections raise concerns about whether adequate safeguards are in place to prevent foreign nationals from voting in our elections. With each new revelation, evidence mounts that local and state agencies are unwilling or unable to secure their voting rolls.Most recently, Pennsylvania officials admitted that noncitizen immigrants – legal and illegal — have registered to vote because of a “glitch” in the state’s electronic driver’s license system. The glitch has existed since the state launched its Motor Voter program in 1995.Keystone State officials now say they’re on the case and that the glitch will be, according to the Associated Press, “completely fixed within several months.” Apparently, these things take time – like 22 years or so.Meantime, lawmakers are pressing the Pennsylvania Department of State to divulge how many noncitizens are registered to vote or who voted. Officials say they cannot even hazard a guess.Pennsylvania isn’t alone.In May, the nonpartisan Public Interest Legal Foundation found 5,556 noncitizens had been quietly removed from Virginia’s voter rolls. A third of them had voted in at least one election. Lawsuits have been filed to force more removals.In September, PILF identified 616 noncitizens listed in 11 New Jersey counties’ voter registration systems. Litigation challenging noncitizens voters is pending in North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.A pattern of lackadaisical (or worse) voter-roll maintenance is emerging in sanctuary cities and locales where “progressive” politicians express newfound fealty for states’ rights and 10th Amendment.In San Francisco, voters passed a 2016 proposition that grants illegal aliens with school-age children the right to vote in school board elections. Sanctuary cities in Maryland and in Chicago have similar rules.Election integrity – like immigration enforcement – is not some frivolous local option.Among the ways to ensure that noncitizens are not registering or voting would be to have state voter rolls regularly compared with federal immigration records. Some states attempt to do this through the Interstate Crosscheck program, but voluntary participation makes for spotty results. States must have access to federal lists of aliens who have been discovered and removed.PILF said it could support a commonsense agreement that allows for the safe transmission of data from the Department of Homeland Security to states and locales to scrub noncitizens from voter rolls.The ongoing presence of noncitizen immigrants on voting rolls is both an embarrassment and an indictment of the status-quo. Aliens gaining access to the ballot box undermines public confidence in our elections and makes a mockery of the democracy America markets to the world.
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