House Passes Critical SAVE Act to Preserve Citizen-Only Voting, National Election Security

The SAVE Act would simply require that states obtain documentary proof of citizenship when registering people to vote in federal elections.

NAPLES, FL – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8281, the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, by a vote of 221-198 with five Democrats joining all Republicans in passing the bill. The bill, authored by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), now moves to the Senate.

In May, the Opportunity Solutions Project (OSP) led a coalition of about 50 conservative groups and leaders in calling on both the House and Senate to pass the SAVE Act as soon as possible to ensure the votes of every legal citizen count and that election results aren’t influenced by non-citizens.

“Secure elections are the cornerstone of our republic. If the American people don’t have confidence in the system—or think that non-citizens will cancel out their ballot—they won’t vote,” said Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Opportunity Solutions Project. “Americans will be more engaged if they have confidence in the election process and results, and that engagement is essential for our constitutional republic to work.”

“Today, a bipartisan House Majority acted to safeguard the sanctity of the American vote. Now, it’s time for the Senate to do the same,” said Bragdon.

Current law makes it illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections, but there is no mechanism to enforce it. As a result, a non-citizen can visit any local DMV—where every state provides driver’s licenses to non-citizens—attest to citizenship, register to vote, and then cast an illegal ballot in a federal election.

The SAVE Act would amend the National Voter Registration Act to require that states obtain documentary proof of citizenship when registering people to vote in federal elections. It also requires states to establish a process for removing non-citizens from voter rolls and adds federal penalties for individuals who knowingly register a non-citizen to vote in a federal election.

“More than 11 million people have illegally entered our country—more than the population of 43 states.

It’s disturbing that President Biden and 198 House Democrats want the voter rolls as wide open as the border, allowing non-citizens to decide who holds power in the halls of our federal government,” said Bragdon. “Every non-citizen allowed to vote dilutes the power of citizens’ votes—this is a harmful and morally wrong message to send to the American people.”

In late May, 52 House Democrats joined Republicans in favor of repealing non-citizen voting in Washington, D.C.’s local elections. Today, only five Democrats voted for the bill to bar voter registration of non-citizens.

“The SAVE Act should have unanimous support—the only reason to oppose this simple bill is tacit support of non-citizens voting in federal elections,” added Bragdon.