Debate Heats Up Over SAVE Act And Non-Citizen Voting In Federal Elections

The debate over non-citizen voting in federal elections has intensified with the introduction of the SAVE Act a bill that would require proof of citizenship when registering to vote. 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has been a vocal proponent of the legislation arguing that it is “shockingly easy” for non-citizens to vote in federal elections due to the lack of verification required.

Lee points out that state officials who are responsible for federal voter registration and elections are not allowed to require proof of citizenship. 

He cites the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, which held that the National Voter Registration Act prohibits states from requiring proof of citizenship when processing federal voter-registration forms.

Democrats have pushed back against the SAVE Act arguing that non-citizens categorically do not vote in federal elections because it is illegal. However, Lee contends that this argument fails because it assumes universal compliance with a law that has become easy and tempting to violate.

The debate has also highlighted the inconsistency in Democrats’ arguments with Lee pointing out that they have inserted language in their amnesty bills to waive inadmissibility for illegal voting. As the 2024 presidential election approaches the issue of non-citizen voting and the need for verification measures like the SAVE Act is likely to remain a contentious topic.


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