You would think that preventing non-citizen voting would be a high priority. But it's not. If the Republicans really represented the interests of those who actually vote for them, it would be a priority.
A few congressmen are maybe, possibly starting to get a clue.
Debbie Siegelbaum at The Hill reports that
Republicans on the House Administration Committee want to shore up voter registration rules in the wake of a Colorado study that found as many as 5,000 non-citizens in the state took part in last yearâ€™s election.GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado a 'wake-up call' for states Debbie Siegelbaum, The Hill, March 31st, 2011
If it's that way in Colorado, how do you suppose it is in Texas and California?
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), the panelâ€™s chairman, called the study â€?a disturbing wake-up callâ€? that should cause every state to review its safeguards to prevent illegal voting.Exactly. I hope you follow up on that. Numbers USA, by the way, gives Harper a grade of A.
â€?We simply cannot have an electoral system that allows thousands of non-citizens to violate the law and vote in our elections. We must do more to protect the integrity of our electoral processes,â€? Harper added.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, told the panel that his departmentâ€™s study identified nearly 12,000 people who were not citizens but were still registered to vote in Colorado. Of those non-citizen registered voters, nearly 5,000 took part in the 2010 general election in which Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet narrowly defeated Republican Ken Buck.So it could have made a difference.
Colorado conducted the study by comparing the stateâ€™s voter registration database with driverâ€™s license records.Good idea.
â€?We know we have a problem here. We donâ€™t know the size of it,â€? Gessler said in testimony to Administrationâ€™s Elections subcommittee.That's an understatement.
He [Gessler] told Harper that Colorado would look to create a registration system that would allow his department to ask that some people provide proof of their citizenship in writing.How about everybody having to prove citizenship in order to register to vote? What's unfair about that?
If individuals did not respond to the request, their registration as voters would be suspended.Sounds fair.
But, somebody on the committee objected.
Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) raised doubts about the reporting, noting that the study itself said it was based on inconclusive data and that it was â€?impossible to provide precise numbersâ€? on how many people who were registered to vote in the state were not citizens.Is it any coincidence that Gonzalez is (1) a Democrat, (2)Hispanic, and (3) has a D grade on immigration from Numbers USA? Just saying.
According to Gessler
...the goal of the study was to expose voter registration issues and pursue administrative avenues to resolve them. â€?We donâ€™t have a screen for citizenship on the front end when people register to vote,â€? he said.Yes, and that's the problem.
I would suggest this be handled at the state level. States could adopt voter registration systems like that of Mexico. See my article Why Does Mexico Have a Better Voter Registration System Than We Do?