Recently, the state of New York began issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, making it the 13th state—plus the District of Columbia—to provide such documentation to people residing illegally within the United States.
The full list of states includes California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
The Hill shared a video on Twitter showing a massive line of people wrapped around a building as they waited to apply for a driver’s license.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 16, 2019
While this concession by officials in The Empire State will undoubtedly make life and freedom of movement easier for those who are undocumented, it raises concerns about the prospect of election interference.
I’ve presented research showing that there are as many as 30 million illegal aliens living in the United States and research estimating that more than 5 million of them may be voting in U.S. elections.
Two circumstances that help facilitate foreign nationals voting in our elections are 1) the lack of a requirement to present identification when casting a ballot, and, 2) a valid ID being obtained and presented by an ineligible voter.
To be clear: Every noncitizen is an ineligible voter.
Policies that grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens are not always good faith efforts to help them better integrate into society. Officials who create such policies are often thumbing their noses at Republican-led efforts to institute voter ID requirements.
In 2015, Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta, along with other Democratic Party operatives, took part in a discussion on voter ID laws.
Podesta stated in an email, “If you show up on Election Day with a driver’s license with a picture, attest that you are a citizen, you have a right to vote in federal elections,” with a full understanding that merely attesting to citizenship does not make one a citizen.
This ethos is common within progressive circles and has resulted in the expansion of programs that put driver’s licenses in the hands of an ever-growing number of illegal aliens.
Across the nation, driver’s licenses are acceptable forms of identification when casting a ballot. Of the states that grant driver’s licenses to noncitizens, the following have ID requirements to vote: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New Mexico (only if he or she mailed his or her registration application and did not provide verification of his or her identity at that time), Utah, Vermont (only first-time voters who registered by mail), and Washington (only in person).
And when we combine the increasing number of ineligible voters receiving credentials that could be used to cast a ballot together with the alarming number of states that have lax ID laws or no ID requirement at all, the elevated possibility of fraud necessitates a conversation about moving to secure our elections with a form of ID that only U.S. citizens possess—a national voter identification card.
This is not a new idea. But it’s worth revisiting because, despite the United States being a global leader in many areas, when it comes to securing our elections, the United States is behind.
We can even take a lesson in election security from our neighbor to the south—Mexico.
The Brennan Center released a report documenting the steps that Mexico takes to create clean voter rolls and ensure that only Mexican citizens are voting in its elections. Unlike the U.S. system—which, in some states, allows automatic voter registration when a driver’s license is granted and also allows online registration—in order to vote in Mexico, citizens must visit a federal election agency office, where they must do the following:
• Fill out a voter registration form in person
• Provide a fingerprint
• Provide their signature
• Have their photograph taken
• Provide valid ID to pick up their voter ID card once it’s ready
The United States adopting such a three-point verification system (fingerprint, signature, photo) would mark a huge leap forward in election security.
And despite a predictable response from progressive organizations falsely proclaiming “racism” and “voter suppression,” a national voter ID card would be a single, common-sense step that would discriminate in favor of U.S. citizens and all but eliminate the possibility of a noncitizen voting in an election. This measure would also reduce the possibility of malfeasance through other forms of election fraud.
And, of course, accommodations would be made to verify the identities of those casting absentee ballots.
With a national voter ID card, noncitizens having driver’s licenses would be of less concern for many people, because we would be better protecting our elections while still allowing freedom of movement within the country for undocumented workers.
As evinced by the multi-year saga that began in 2016, America’s elections are only as good as the confidence that we can place in them.
And, certainly at this point, verifying the identity of each eligible voter with an ID that is only available to U.S. citizens is a strong, meaningful step toward delivering confidence that Americans are the only people casting ballots to select our leaders.
Adrian Norman is a writer and political commentator.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.