Congressional Republicans Push for Voter Citizenship Proof Bill

Congressional Republicans are set to vote this week on the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility bill, or Save Act, which mandates proof of citizenship for voter registration. This legislation is part of a broader effort to influence election outcomes ahead of November.

The Save Act’s Provisions
The Save Act requires states to verify U.S. citizenship in person through documents like Real IDs or passports during voter registration. A standard driver’s license alone would not suffice; additional proof of birth, such as a birth certificate, is needed. States would also be required to remove non-citizens from their voter rolls and potentially initiate deportation processes for those unlawfully registered.

Concerns from Voting Rights Advocates
Voting rights advocates argue that these measures could disenfranchise eligible U.S. citizens who lack the necessary documentation or cannot present it in person. This includes naturalized citizens, college students, and tribal voters. Although it’s illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections and register to vote without eligibility, the proposed bill targets potential gaps.

Political Backdrop and Trump’s Influence
Former President Trump has been vocal in his support for the bill, urging Republicans to pass it via Truth Social. However, the bill faces significant opposition in the Democrat-controlled Senate and from the Biden administration, which has promised a veto.

Republican Motivations and Support
Republicans see the bill as a critical step to prevent alleged non-citizen voting, a claim that has gained traction among far-right figures and groups like Heritage Action. Prominent supporters, including Elon Musk, have also backed the bill, heightening the rhetoric around its necessity.

Lack of Evidence and Legal Hurdles
Despite strong assertions, proponents of the bill have not provided substantial evidence of widespread non-citizen voting. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that states cannot require proof of citizenship for federal elections, creating a complex legal landscape for the Save Act.

The Save Act represents a significant push by Congressional Republicans to alter voter registration requirements, framed as a measure to protect election integrity. However, it faces substantial legal, political, and practical challenges that may hinder its implementation.