Maricopa County has canceled over 200 voter registrations from illegal immigrants since 2015, report
Many foreign nationals are registered to vote through Departments of Motor Vehicles, according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation.
Maricopa County data shows that voter registrations for 222 foreign nationals have been canceled since 2015, with nine of them casting 12 ballots over four federal elections, according to an election integrity watchdog.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) published a summary of a Maricopa County report on Wednesday of the canceled voter registration numbers, noting that the longest period of time that a foreign national was registered to vote was 27 years.
Since 2015, the year with the most amount of votes cast by those whose voter registrations were canceled was 2020, when five votes were cast, according to the report.
PILF noted that the most common cause of foreign nationals getting on voter rolls is the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter law, which made it easier for people applying for driver's licenses to also register to vote.
"States that automate Motor Voter, not giving the immigrant the chance to decline registration, exacerbate the problem," according to PILF's report. "States giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants only increase traffic to [Departments of Motor Vehicles]" (emphasis original).
PILF also noted that since there isn't a national database for election officials to check to see if foreign nationals are "masquerading as citizens in voter rolls," then it "leaves election officials waiting for non-citizens to out themselves – an act that can get them charged with a federal felony."
The most likely reason for a foreign national to admit that they have been registered to vote is that "they want to remain in the United States as future naturalized citizens," according to the report. In the naturalization application process, foreign nationals are asked if they have prematurely registered to vote. If there are voter registration records, then "they are often ordered by immigration officials to get said records cancelled."
"Motor Voter leads to problems for immigrants across America," PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement. "Signing the wrong form at the DMV can haunt you years later when your naturalization process switches to deportation. For 30 years, foreign nationals have been getting registered to vote. Congress must modernize Motor Voter to reflect the technologies and demographics of today."
Maricopa County has a long history of election issues, and is at the center of a lawsuit from 2022 Arizona GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.