Congressman Bob Gibbs

Representing the 7th District of Ohio

Rep Gibbs Introduces Bill to Safeguard Voter Rolls

February 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Following reports from several states of non-citizens registering to vote, Congressman Bob Gibbs re-introduced legislation to prevent foreign nationals from illegally registering. The Ensuring American Voters Act will require proof of citizenship at the beginning of the voter registration process.

Last month, a new report from the Texas Secretary of State showed 95,000 non-citizens were registered, with 58,000 having casts ballots since 1996.  While last year, the California DMV acknowledged 1,500 people were “registered to vote in error.”

In Ohio alone, a 2017 report details 821 non-citizens having registered, with 126 casting ballots. In 2018, the Franklin County Prosecutor indicted seven for illegal voting.

“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 thousands of non-citizens registering and illegally voting in American elections.  We can help close one of these gaps by requiring proof of citizenship at the time someone registers to vote. That is what the Ensuring American Voters Act does.  In Ohio alone, nearly 200 recent races were tied or decided by just one vote. Whether it is one vote or thousands, illegal voting dilutes the 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

The bill text can be accessed here.

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