Exclusive — Rep. Chip Roy: SAVE Act Adds Safeguards to Stop Non-Citizens from Voting in Federal Elections

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The Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, which will be on the House floor Wednesday, provides safeguards to stop non-citizens from voting in federal elections, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said during an appearance on Breitbart News Daily.

Despite it already being illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections, Roy explained that there are no actual safeguards to check it. It gets worse as the Biden administration dumps millions of illegal aliens into the United States, he noted.

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“There’s a whole, you know, industry built up around propping up people here to be here illegally,” Roy said when asked about reports of non-citizens receiving Social Security numbers. “So, of course, they’re voting.”

“And then, importantly, our own federal government [is] registering these people automatically — through Medicaid, through forced DMV registration — under federal law. And, of course, they’re registering them, and then they’re saying, ‘Oh, but they won’t vote in federal elections. Don’t worry about it,'” he said.

The issue, Roy said, is that there are no systems in place to ensure that is not happening.

“That’s the absurdity. You can’t even make it up. Federal law has been interpreted to prohibit states from checking to see if you’re a citizen even though, technically, the law says you must be a citizen,” he said, emphasizing that there are no safeguards to check to ensure that individuals are citizens when they vote, using Arizona as a prime example.

“Arizona passed a law saying they wanted to make sure that only citizens vote in federal and state and local elections. That went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said, ‘No, sorry, you can’t do that for federal elections because federal law preempts it.’ So, they have two systems in Arizona: one system for checking state and local elections, where they go through the whole system, and then another system for federal, where they don’t check citizenship,” he said. “Literally, that’s the current state of the law.”

Not only would the SAVE Act fix that issue, but the congressman said it would require all states to check for citizenship in federal elections.

“We think that still respects federalism. This is federal elections: Congress, Senate, [and the] presidency. We need to be able to bind this country together, at least under at least one simple notion that we can trust elections, that only citizens are voting for federal candidates,” he said, explaining that this would not be burdensome on citizens with existing voter registration.

“We want to keep it simple, so we drafted it to follow existing state laws, primarily. So what would change? First of all, nothing would immediately change for people who are already registered. You’d be allowed to go vote. What we would require is for the next registrants — so someone [who] goes to register to vote tomorrow, like, if this bill passed — then they would be forced to show up with passport, a Real ID that’s already checking citizenship, or, if the system doesn’t have that, a driver’s license, a photo ID, plus a copy of your birth certificate or your naturalization papers,” he said, explaining that there would be other paths that could be taken if the individual could not get their birth certificate.

Further, the law would essentially put the rest of the burden on the state, requiring states to clean their voter rolls and ensure that there is a process for making sure that only citizens are registered to vote.


“That’s what we do. We try to make it minimally burdensome but strong enough to ensure that only citizens vote,” he explained, noting that the law would allow each state to determine how it would be best to go through voter rolls. Virginia, he said, made such an effort in 2023, checking against federal databases. It found that 1,500 non-citizens were registered to vote. Texas, he continued, also did something similar a few years ago and found 25,000 non-citizens in the system.

“So, it’s possible that if your name — you’re registered, and something didn’t match up, right — it’s possible they’d come back to you when you go to vote or register, and they’d say, ‘Hey, we need to see a passport or see some form of verification that you’re a citizen, and then we allow for provisional ballots and other mechanisms so that your vote will still count.’ And, so, it should be minimally burdensome, but there is at least another layer of requirements,” Roy continued, emphasizing the importance of having “some standard to ensure only citizens are voting.”

Roy reminded listeners again that federal law already makes it a crime for a non-citizen to vote, as well as for people to conspire to encourage the registration of non-citizens. However, the congressman stressed again that the country does not “allow the mechanisms for proving it,” and that is where the main problem lies.

“So, that’s what this bill would do. And then, again, this bill would step up that next level and require it for federal elections,” he added.

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