Election integrity hearing: 500 non-citizens registered to vote in DC

The hearing is over non-citizens voting in U.S. elections and the foreign interference of elections.

Published: May 16, 2024 11:03am

Updated: May 16, 2024 12:06pm

House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil said Thursday that 500 non-citizens are registered to vote in Washington, D.C.

The Wisconsin Republican announced the number a committee hearing titled: “American Confidence in Elections: Preventing Noncitizen Voting and Other Foreign Interference."

He also said some states and D.C. allow non-citizens to vote in local elections and that over 7 million illegal immigrants have crossed the southern border since President Biden took office. 

Steil told the “John Solomon Reports” podcast on Wednesday that Washington, D.C., is the Democrats’ “petri dish” for getting “non-citizens to vote in our elections.”

In March, a federal judge dismissed a legal challenge to a 2022 Washington, D.C., law permitting non-citizens to vote in local elections.

On Thursday, Steil noted that he and Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-Okla.) introduced the Preventing Foreign Interference in Elections Act on Wednesday, similar to a bill introduced in the Senate, which includes additional measures to prevent foreign nationals from interfering in U.S. elections.

The bill includes clarification of an existing foreign national ban on “indirect” contributions; prohibition of foreign nationals from funding get-out-the-vote efforts or ballot harvesting; stops the funding of U.S. election administration by foreign nationals; and strengthens donor privacy protections for Americans.

Steil also said Thursday that The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which allows citizens to register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles, has caused non-citizens to be placed on state voter rolls.

"In 2022, the Public Interest Legal Foundation found Pennsylvania had allowed noncitizens to register to vote – for decades," Steil explained. "Pennsylvania later publicly admitted that due to an alleged programming 'glitch,' the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had allowed noncitizens to register to vote."

He also noted that Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) has ordered the removal of non-citizens from the state's voter rolls after more than 100 were found registered despite confirming their lack of U.S. citizenship.

On Thursday, Steil asked Heritage Foundation senior fellow Hans von Spakovsky if, because non-citizens can vote after residing in Washington, D.C., for 30 days and all registered voters are mailed ballots, a "small clerical mistake can lead to non-citizens to vote in federal elections?"

"Yes," von Spakovsky replied.

Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd (R) testified at the hearing on Thursday that there doesn't exist a reliable federal database for states to use to verify the citizenship of voters. He added that states "need the cooperation of the federal government to get accurate, up-to-date information on the citizenship status of voters."

Caitlin Sutherland, executive director for Americans for Public Trust, testified regarding the indirect funding of election activity by foreign nationals.

“Foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to Super PACs directly, but there’s nothing prohibiting a foreign national from contributing to a 501(c)(4) that then turns around and gives to a Super PAC," Sutherland said. "In fact, in 2020, we saw that the 1630 Fund — that received tens of millions of dollars from a foreign national — turned around and contributed $60 million to pro-Biden Super PACs.”

During her testimony, Sutherland referred to Hansjorg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire and left-wing donor, who lives in Wyoming but has chosen to not become a U.S. citizen.

According to a report by Americans for Public Trust, two organizations started by Wyss have donated $475 million to influence U.S. politics since 1998.

Democrats on the House Administration Committee claimed that the discussion of non-citizen voting is an attempt by Republicans to undermine the results of the 2024 election.

Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) claimed that non-citizens are not voting in U.S. elections. Sewell introduced into evidence an opinion article by Morelle published on Thursday, in which he wrote, "independent sources have repeatedly debunked this myth, verifying that noncitizens voting in federal elections is extraordinarily rare and has never been shown to impact the outcome of any election."

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