Rep. Roy Introduces the Protecting American Voters Act to Ensure Only Legal Votes are Cast

On Thursday I introduced the Protecting American Voters Act to implement commonsense solutions that will allow states to ensure only U.S. citizens are voting in federal elections.

The American people deserve an election system they can trust - an election system that guarantees that only legal votes are cast toward electing public officials. Recently, in at least six battleground states, profound questions have been raised about the legality and constitutionality of many voting laws. Many states have worked to relax voting standards, calling even obvious integrity practices “voter suppression.” This is a problem for many reasons, but specifically to ensure only legal U.S. citizens - whether naturalized or through birth - are voting in U.S. elections.

Verifying citizenship in elections should be a priority for all states.  The federal form to register to vote doesn’t require documentation to prove citizenship, but rather just that applicants registering to vote must “attest to being citizens.”  Some states look at driver’s license records to see whether any noncitizens registered to vote. But driver’s license records can often be outdated and may not indicate if an individual is a naturalized citizen.

While Congress has only a narrow role in the election process according to the Constitution, it can ensure that States that believe in election integrity have access to the information they need to secure their election registration rolls.

Specifically, the Protecting American Voters Act:

  • Allows such information as may be necessary to enable state officials with the ability to verify that an applicant for voter registration in federal elections is a citizen of the United States.
  • Requires the Department of Homelands Security to provide, without a fee, inquiring states with information from the “SAVE system” which houses data providing for who is a naturalized citizen of the United States.
  • Requires the Social Security Administration to provide inquiring states with social security information (confidentiality safeguards required) that provides for who is a citizen born in the United States.
  • Allows for proactive use to check individuals registering to vote and allows for retroactive purposes in order to allow states to clean out their current voter registration rolls.

I am joined by my House colleagues, Reps. W. Gregory Steube, Yvette Herrell, Ted Budd, and Lauren Boebert in introducing this legislation.

More support for the legislation:

  • Heritage Action for America
  • FreedomWorks

Full text of the bill is available here.


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