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More than 50 Dems Vote to Repeal Law Allowing Noncitizens Vote

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The House advanced a bill to repeal a Washington D.C. law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.

The vote was 262-143, with 52 Democrats joining Republicans.

The D.C. law was passed in 2022 and survived a court challenge.

GOP members argued non-citizens voting could influence national security issues and tilt elections through encouragement of illegal immigrants to register.

“What we’re doing is, we are talking about passing a law that prohibits citizens of foreign countries from voting in elections in D.C. It prohibits people that are here illegally from voting in elections. It prohibits spies from China from voting in elections. It prohibits people that are here from Russia that have wishes of ill will in the United States from voting in the elections in D.C.,” Rep. Garret Graves said.

Democrats said no evidence showed undocumented people were actually voting, and the law was for permanent residents on a citizenship path.

“It would, of course, be crazy for an undocumented person to attach their name to a public and transparent document like a voter registration document…we were not able to find any evidence that there were any undocumented people doing so,” Rep. Jamie Raskin said.

“In other words, the district’s use of this practice for local elections and local government functions appears to be in accord with the way it’s always been used, which is for permanent residents who are part of the community, who are on the pathway to citizenship.”

Republicans noted close margins in key races meant any undocumented voting could sway outcomes.

It was part of GOP efforts to crack down on voting security ahead of the 2024 elections, alongside a bill to heighten penalties for undocumented voting in federal elections.

“They’re encouraging people to vote for mayor, for attorney general, for members of the state Board of Education and more. And some may argue that, yes, these are just local elections. Well, there are democratic elections that regularly determine taxation, the criminal code…and the election of the various city council members who decide ordinances like who gets to vote. Not to mention that many of these are decided by close margins,” Rep. August Pfluger said.

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