‘There’s No Proof’ That Noncitizens Vote in Federal Elections, a House Democrat Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “[House Speaker Mike Johnson] declared that he knows intuitively that a lot of noncitizens are voting in federal elections, but it’s not been something that is easily provable,” Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) said at a hearing on Thursday. “It’s not provable because there’s no proof.”

House Republicans held a hearing on Thursday morning in the U.S. Committee on House Administration called “American Confidence in Elections: Preventing Noncitizen Voting and Other Foreign Interference.”

Committee chair Rep. Brian Steil (R-Wis.) said that noncitizens voting “reduces confidence in our elections,” specifically criticizing Washington, D.C.’s law that allows noncitizens to vote in local elections. Senate Republicans introduced a bill on May 1 to overturn this legislation, and the House GOP also introduced a companion bill.

“In our nation’s capital, roughly 500 noncitizens are already registered to vote. Let me be clear, noncitizen voting reduces confidence in our elections,” Steil said. “Washington D.C. is setting a new standard that could soon be applied across the country.”

He also said that noncitizens should be purged from voter rolls and expressed support for Johnson’s Safeguard American Eligibility Act (SAVE) Act that he introduced last week, which would require all voters to provide proof of citizenship to register to vote in federal elections.

Johnson first announced that Congressional Republicans were working on a federal voter suppression bill targeting noncitizens from voting last month alongside former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

At the hearing, Hons von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said that action is necessary to prevent noncitizens from voting, referring to them as “aliens.”

“We know that aliens are registering and actually voting although we don’t know the extent of the problem, since the vast majority of states are not verifying citizenship,” von Spakovsky said. “But the indicators that it’s occurring are there, and it’s important to understand that every vote by an alien voids the vote of a citizen.”

The other witnesses  at the hearing included Florida Sec. of State Cord Byrd (R), Public Legal Interest Fund (PILF) President J. Christian Adams and Brennan Center for Justice President and CEO Michael Waldman.

Waldman said that the claim about large numbers of noncitizens voting in federal contests and heavily influencing elections is an “urban myth” and “conspiracy theory,” and that it’s not a coincidence that this argument has started to gain attention this year.

“Why is it happening now? It’s being pushed preemptively, I believe, to set the stage for undermining the legitimacy of the 2024 election this year,” Waldman said. “The Big Lie is being pre-deployed.”

Morelle, a ranking member of the committee on House Administration, agreed that the GOP’s argument is nothing more than a cog in the wheel of “Big lie” that Trump started about how federal elections are rigged.

“MAGA extremists are laying the groundwork to overturn the 2024 election,” Morelle said. “The coup starts here. This is where it begins.”

Watch the congressional hearing here.