Three reasons non-citizen voting is a myth—no matter what you’ve heard​

May 2024 1 min read by The CEIR Team

Like clockwork, an election year has rolled around. And like clockwork, some prominent figures are making a lot of scary noise about the risks of non-citizens voting in November. Former President Trump and House Republicans have been working overtime to invoke this baseless fear, raising funds on that fear as the myth spreads and amplifies on social media platforms.

David Becker, executive director of the nonpartisan nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research, offers three things you should know.

First, “Non-citizen voting has been outlawed for decades. It’s Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 611.” Click through, it’s a very quick read. In summary, it says non-citizens cannot vote in federal elections.

Second, even if someone attempted to do so, protections are in place that make it exceedingly rare. Registration is required to vote, and “every single person who registers to vote in the United States is required to provide ID, almost always a driver’s license number, that is checked against DMV records to make sure they’re eligible to vote and that they are who they say they are,” says Becker. “That’s been the case for over two decades now.”

Third, and possibly most compelling, these protections have been enormously successful. “We know non-citizen voting almost never occurs,” says Becker, citing the critical swing state of Georgia as an example. “Georgia did an audit of its complete voter file to see if any non-citizens had voted, and they found zero—zero—voting in Georgia,” he says. “So you can be sure that only citizens are voting in federal elections, and certainly in 2024 for president.”

The concept of the non-citizen voter is one of several scare tactics that exist solely to undercut confidence in our elections. Don’t let them.


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