Gibbs Introduces Bill to Secure State Voter Rolls, Resolution Affirming Citizens’ Right to Vote

February 5, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-7) introduced the Ensuring American Voters Act to prevent foreign nationals from illegally registering to vote. The legislation will require proof of citizenship when someone begins the voter registration process.

Last September, 19 foreign nationals in North Carolina were prosecuted for attempting to illegally vote in the 2016 election. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has been plagued with problems of non-citizens being registered to vote through a state program that registers individuals to vote when applying for and receiving a driver’s license.

A 2017 report detailed 821 non-citizens having registered in Ohio alone, with 126 casting ballots. The Franklin County (Ohio) Prosecutor indicted seven for illegal voting that same year.

“Voting is a fundamental responsibility for American citizens, who are the only people that should determine our nation’s elections,” said Congressman Gibbs. “Our election systems require security from start to finish, from voter registration to results tabulation. Unfortunately, there are gaps, resulting in non-citizens registering and sometimes illegally voting in American elections. If Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media will falsely and maliciously characterize the regular cleaning of voter rolls as ‘purging’, we could at least take serious steps to prevent shoddy voter registration files in the first place. The Ensuring American Voters Act is part of that effort by requiring proof of citizenship at the time someone registers to vote. In Ohio alone, 141 elections were tied or decided by just one vote between 2012 and 2017. Even if it is just one vote, illegal voting dilutes the voting power of American citizens and can affect the outcome of elections.”

The Ensuring American Voters Act would require individuals to provide documentary proof that the individual is a citizen of the United States when they apply to register to vote by providing one of the following documents:

  • A certified birth certificate issued by a state
  • A valid United States passport
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Secretary of State
  • A Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship issued by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

Gibbs also introduced a resolution to reaffirm the 14th Amendment’s protection of voting rights for American citizens, and to recognize the effect of non-citizens voting has on the voice and voting power of American citizens.

Voter registration laws and processes differ from state to state. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, as of February 2020, fifteen states and the District of Columbia allow illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses, and twelve of those states plus DC provide voter registration at the time of obtaining a driver’s license. On top of that, five of those states plus DC offer same day registration and voting. This creates the potential for a hole in elections security, providing non-citizens the means and opportunity to illegally vote.

After introducing the resolution, Congressman Gibbs said:

“Americans are right to be concerned about the massive holes in our election security. I recently pointed out the problems we have at the state level. Everything from internet-connected voting and tabulation machines, to same-day registration and voting, to unsolicited mass mail balloting contribute to lack of confidence in elections. As a conservative, I believe we need to balance the Constitution’s commitment to allowing states to administer their own elections with the absolute necessity to do everything we can to make sure no fraudulent voting or tabulation is occurring. The resolution I introduced affirms that American elections are for American citizens, no one else.”

Earlier this year, Congressman Gibbs wrote an op-ed detailing several instances of troubling actions on the part of election officials that contribute to a less secure elections process.

The Ensuring American Voters Act text can be found here.

The resolution to reaffirm the voting rights of American citizens can be found here.