Democrat Expert Witnesses Don’t Believe Only Citizens Should Vote

In a Tuesday congressional hearing, not one of the Democrats’ witnesses could say clearly that they believe only citizens should be able to vote in a federal election, according to The Federalist.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), during a Senate Judiciary Hearing on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, asked witnesses to answer “yes” or “no” to a series of questions about non-citizens voting.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act would federalize elections by preventing states and local authorities from making changes to elections unless they have approval from federal bureaucrats.

“Do you believe that only citizens of the United States should be able to vote in federal elections?” Lee asked each of the witnesses.

“We don’t have a position about non-citizens voting in federal elections, we believe that’s what the current laws are, and so we’re certainly fighting for everyone who is eligible under current law to vote,” Executive Director of The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Damon T. Hewitt answered.

“That’s a decision of the state law but I want to emphasize,” President of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project Lydia Camarillo said.

Lee retorted, “It’s a decision of state law as to who should vote in federal elections?”
“States decide who gets to vote in various elections, and in federal elections I believe that we should be encouraging people to naturalize and then vote,” Camarillo answered.

“Okay, but you’re saying that the federal government should have no say in who votes in a federal election?” Lee pressed.

“I don’t have a position on that,” Camarillo said.

Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project Sophia Lin Lakin was next to answer Lee, “Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections and our focus is on enabling all eligible voters to be able to vote and cast their ballot.”

Two GOP witnesses, Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation Hans von Spakovsky and counsel at Public Interest Legal Foundation Maureen Riordan told Lee they do not think non-citizens should be allowed to vote.

Lee then asked whether “people registering to vote should provide documentary proof of their citizenship in order to register to vote.”

Hewitt said the real question at hand was how asking people to provide proof of citizenship impacts them.

“I think your first question kind of answers the second,” Hewitt said. “Based upon the applicable rules, federal or state elections, what have you, we know we have to follow those rules. The question is what is the impact of those rules?”

Camarillo claimed the question was “redundant” and concluded, “It’s already being asked.”
Lakin cut to the chase, “Documentary proof of citizenship or requirements are often discriminatory,” she said.

Spakovsky and Riordan were firm in the opinion that voters should be required to prove they are citizens.

Lee was perplexed that the Democrat witnesses could not answer “yes” to both of his straightforward questions.

If the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passes, the U.S. Justice Department could take over an election progressive advocates claim minority voters are being discriminated against by requiring an ID or proving citizenship to vote.

An Arizona law requiring individuals to prove U.S. citizenship to vote in a statewide election was recently ruled by a federal judge as not discriminatory and could therefore proceed.

“Arizona’s interests in preventing non-citizens from voting and promoting public confidence in Arizona’s elections outweighs the limited burden voters might encounter when required to provide proof of citizenship,” U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled.

The progressives, miffed by the Arizona law, had filed a series of lawsuits that led to the federal ruling.