Use Government Databases To Improve Election Integrity; Paul Bettencourt Testimony
Election integrity should be one of the most important issues on everyone’s (Republicans AND Democrats) mind right now. What people DO NOT KNOW is that we already have the tools to better secure our elections from fraudulent votes. Consider what my good friend Senator Paul Bettencourt testified to Congress in 2006! We can cross-reference voter rolls with government databases in order to purge voter registration lists of deceased, out of state, and non-citizen voters.
Read some of these comments and tell me that this would not vastly improve our confidence in our elections:
“This includes comparing our voter registration list with other known good governmental services, such as the Texas Department of Public Safety, the United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address List, the Social Security Department’s Deceased List, and the Secretary of State’s Statewide Voter Roll. Our original efforts in 2000 found more than 50,000 registrations that had to be deleted or suspended under law just by comparing the voter roll to these other governmental databases.”
Paul also recommended we create a voter ID that requires citizenship to obtain, and require all voters to present that ID when voting in all federal elections. He made it clear that as our elections stood then, and still stand today, it is nearly impossible to stop non-citizens from voting if they lie.
“As it now stands, we have no real way to stop a foreign citizen from voting. If a foreign national sends in a voter registration application and checks off that he or she is a citizen of the United States, they will get a card – unless we have some prior knowledge that their information is false. There is no reliable database of which I am aware that we can check against for proof of citizenship.”
Of course, some people argue that non-citizens do not vote in high enough numbers to matter. My good friend Alex Nowrasteh at the CATO institute recently said that non-citizens don’t illegally vote in detectable numbers, while arguing that a report that said 15.8% of non-citizens voted in 2020 was false.
The problem is, we have no idea how many people are voting illegally because we don’t have an effective way to figure it out! This undermines the confidence in and integrity of our elections!
This is why Congress needs to pass sensible legislation like the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006. We should create a photo ID that requires proof of US-citizenship to initially obtain. and require voters to show that ID or a copy of it when voting in person or by mail in all federal elections. This should be offered at no cost to voters.
There is also area for improved cooperation between federal and local governments in checking voter registration lists with passport lists, ICE records, and social security numbers. The feds could even establish a citizenship list for local officials to check their voter rolls against.
These would be common-sense improvements to election integrity.
“Is voting taken so lightly that we cannot require so little an effort as the production of a photo ID? We require such identification from those buying tobacco or alcohol, boarding an airplane or using a credit card,” Bettencourt said.
It’s amazing that Bettencourt raised this issue so clearly 14 years ago, and that it is even more relevant today.
Please contact your lawmakers and ask them to work on passing legislation to establish a citizenship list or to require a voter ID with proof of citizenship to vote in all federal elections.
God bless you, and may He help to restore faith in our elections and democracy.