U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) scored a legislative win after a bill he introduced in June passed out of the House Administration Committee on Wednesday.
The bill, called the "Citizen Ballot Protection Act," allows states to require proof of citizenship to register to vote. It amends the "National Voter Registration Act" (NVRA), which currently prohibits states from verifying citizenship for Federal elections.
Many states and municipalities nationwide allow non-citizens to vote in their elections, and many more are considering it.
Palmer, discussing its passage to 1819 News, said, "Free and fair elections are something the citizens of this nation expect. However, slowly but surely, non-citizens around the country are being given the ability to participate in a process sacredly reserved for citizens."
"This creates endless opportunities for fraud, which will counteract restoring faith in the American election process. The American people should be certain their vote is not being erased by non-citizens. My bill passing in committee is the first step in amending the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to give states the ability to verify the citizenship status of their voters when they register. I look forward to seeing the Citizen Ballot Protection Act being passed on the House floor," he added.
The U.S. Constitution gives states the responsibility of overseeing federal elections. However, since the passage of the NVRA and with a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling against the state's ability to require verification of citizenship. Federal government overreach into voter registration has prevented many states from creating what most Americans feel is necessary to ensure clean and fair elections.
Palmer's office had previously released a statement saying that this bill would restore the states' option to add more security to their voter registration process and respect the U.S. Constitution that gives states the right to administer federal elections. While also allowing states to streamline their registration process so both state and federal voter registration may have the same review process.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), who is currently Alabama's only Democrat member of Congress and a member of the committee, spoke out against the bill. Sewell claimed the bill would disenfranchise and restrict voters.
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.