With a joint effort in State Capitols and in Congress, we have an opportunity to strengthen election integrity and build Americans’ confidence in our elections. Under our Constitution, most of the responsibility over federal elections lies with the States while Congress has a smaller role. It’s important that we work together to ensure free, fair, and secure elections.
In Washington D.C., I’ve spearheaded the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act in Congress. This federalist approach offers the States tools to improve election integrity and gets the federal government out of the way. The ACE Act does everything it can at the federal level to strengthen protections against non-citizens voting in federal elections. However, Congress only has so much power.
In Madison, State Senator Julian Bradley has taken the lead to close a loophole in the state constitution that could allow non-citizens to vote. SJR71 is a constitutional amendment that will bar non-citizens from voting in state and local elections in Wisconsin. I was excited and encouraged to see that it cleared both houses of the state legislature and will now be on the ballot next November. This commonsense effort serves as a prime example of how we can partner with purple states like Wisconsin to tackle this issue and move election integrity forward.
While Congress doesn’t control the States, we do have a responsibility in D.C. The ACE Act implements commonsense election integrity measures beyond preventing non-citizens from voting. The ACE Act also promotes photo Voter ID, prohibits foreign influence, and implements a federalist approach to safeguarding elections. The ACE Act ensures that it’s easy for American citizens to vote but hard for bad actors to cheat.
The Committee is also releasing an American Confidence in Elections state toolkit in the coming months, which includes model legislative and initiative language so that more state legislators can enact similar policies in their states, too. These efforts will serve as an example to states of the feasibility of policies to boost voters’ confidence in elections.
Currently, Wisconsin law does not prohibit non-citizens from voting, which is why Senator Julian Bradley’s work will help to safeguard our elections.
Some cities in blue states like New York, Illinois, and California have passed measures to allow non-citizens to vote in state and local elections. Right here in Washington D.C., our nation’s capital, the city council passed a bill allowing non-citizens to vote in the city’s municipal elections starting in 2024.
Consider the implications: a Russian national living in D.C. for 30 days and working at the Russian Embassy can walk out of the embassy with their Russian passport in their pocket and vote for the next mayor of D.C. And they don’t even need to show their ID.
Since President Biden took office, there have been 6.5 million encounters at the southern border of the United States. 169 migrants on the terror watch list have tried to cross the southern border this year. Ensuring our elections are only for American citizens is a pressing issue facing our country.
In Washington, I have led the charge to adopt the ACE Act, which echoes Wisconsin’s commitment to election integrity. The ACE Act is one step in the process, with the remainder of these important election integrity responsibilities resting with the States.
Wisconsin’s proactive stance against non-citizen voting is a model for the nation. The ACE Act aligns with Wisconsin’s actions, offering a robust framework to prevent non-citizen voting and uphold the integrity of the electoral process. By working together, we can accomplish substantial victories for election integrity in more states.