Hand placing a piece of pager into a clear ballot box in front of the United States flag

Groups debunk claims of 'skyrocketing' numbers of non-citizen voters

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Eric Galatas

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(Colorado News Connection) After a recent flurry of claims that Democrats are allowing immigrants into the country illegally in order to register them to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, good-governance groups are crying "disinformation."

David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, said these claims are not only untrue, but could plant potentially dangerous seeds of doubt among some voters about the legitimacy of November's election results.

Roadside-style sign with the words "Elections Ahead"

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"Non-citizens are already not legally allowed to vote in federal elections. This has been the case throughout American history and was codified into American law in 1996," he explained.

House Republicans have introduced new legislation requiring proof of citizenship to vote after claims that a skyrocketing number of new voters are registering without a photo identification in key swing states. But election officials in states including Arizona, Pennsylvania and Texas have debunked those claims.

Becker said while each state manages its own elections locally, the Help America Vote Act passed in 2002 already requires valid forms of identification before people can be registered to vote anywhere in the United States.

"Either a driver's license number or a Social Security number, which gets matched back to your voter record. So you don't get to be registered and cast a ballot unless you provided this ID," Becker said.

Becker added that data show non-citizen voting is virtually a nonexistent phenomenon, in part because people who risked life and limb to find a better life in America know they would be immediately deported if caught. Trying to vote illegally would put a giant target on their backs.

"To cast one ballot in an election in which 160 million ballots are going to be cast, it happens exceedingly rarely, largely because the states and federal government already have really good policies in place," he said.