voter registration

Some New York Clerks Refuse To Issue Driver’s Licenses To Illegal Aliens Under New Law

Some county clerks in upstate New York say they will refuse to comply with the state’s new law granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

Clerks in Erie, Rensselaer, Niagara and Allegany counties say they won’t adhere when the law, signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, takes effect in six months.

“In the memo of the bill, they talk about the reason why they’re passing this bill is to make sure that people who are here illegally can get to and from work,” Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns said, according to the New York Post. “It is illegal to hire people in the state of New York or anywhere that are here illegally. There’s an inconsistency there.”

 

 

In a letter to County Aattorney Michael Siragusa, Kearns asked for state representation in a lawsuit over the legislation in federal court, WIVB in Buffalo reported.

“After a review of the act, I am convinced that it is inconsistent with federal law,” Kearns wrote in the letter. “More importantly, however, complying with the act puts me and other county clerks in the untenable position of having to decide whether to uphold federal law or the newly enacted state law. I anticipate being sued in either event.”

Kerns said motor vehicle agencies in the area will instead send applicants who state employees believe are in the country illegally to the bureau in Syracuse.

"Speaking with WIVB, Kearns also reportedly suggested the bill may be a violation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which would make it illegal to knowingly hire illegal immigrants,” Fox News reported.

"When asked if he is prepared to lose his position if he doesn’t comply with the law Kearns told the television station, “He [Governor Cuomo] has the power. However through my research, working through my legal team, we have to be charged. There has to be some charges, and I get to answer those charges. It’s almost one of those things we’re preparing for. I hope it doesn’t happen.”

Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. His support for the bill appeared in doubt Monday after he voiced concerns that U.S. immigration officials could use state license information to target immigrants for deportation.

The governor asked for a legal review by the office of Attorney General Letitia James, who said she supports the bill but wouldn’t speculate on the federal response.

Supporters of the bill include the state Business Council and immigrant advocates who think licenses would help immigrants get jobs.

Republican lawmakers argue that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be rewarded for violating the rules.

Cuomo signed the Green Light Bill into law Monday night, making New York the 13th state to allow foreigners in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver’s licenses.

Kearns told 7 Eyewitness News “I’m not going to break the law. I can’t, in good conscious, do this.”

“It’s more than just driving. It’s a privilege. It’s a gateway document, it’s a breeder document, and I’m not going to be a part of that,” Kearns said.

illegal to knowingly hire illegal immigrants,” Fox News reported.

HB 2015 work session set for Monday at 1pm

Alert date: 
2019-06-06
Alert body: 

This is it, folks!

In 2014, Oregon voters said NO to driver licenses to anyone without proof of legal presence. But, the party in charge at the Oregon Legislature is so arrogant they are willfully working to overthrow the will of the people.

HB 2015 will have a work session Monday, June 10 at 1:00pm. Your calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts are critical to shine a light on this bill. We can stop this - with YOUR help. Have you seen our billboards across the state? Take a photo and post on your social media page.

All the information you need is located here.

Feds: Forgery operation produced over 10,000 fake documents

SALEM, Ore.-  Located in an apartment in a primarily Hispanic town in Oregoon, a clandestine lab churned out thousands of fake Social Security cards, drivers' licenses and immigration documents that were sold around the United States for years.

The operation, revealed for the first time Tuesday in a federal court document, showed that a syndicate based in Oaxaca, Mexico, operated the forged-document factory in Woodburn, a town of 24,000 in an agricultural region a half-hour's drive from Portland.

Employers, including farms, nurseries and wineries, routinely employ people who are in the United States illegally but who can produce a Social Security card or work visa. Many agricultural employers say it's not their responsibility - and that they lack the expertise - to determineine if the documents are genuine.

The arrest on Sept. 21, 2017, of Miguel Merecias-Lopez in a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Woodburn reveals how, in many cases, such documents are produced. Merecias-Lopez pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Portland to conspiracy to produce false identification documents and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He had gone to the parking lot to sell more than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of meth, prosecutors said.

Homeland Security Investigations had already been looking at the syndicate they called the "Fraud Doc Ring" before the arrest, said Kevin Sonoff, spokesman for the United States Attorney's Office in Portland. After Merecias-Lopez was arrested, investigators went to his apartment and found computers, scanners, laminators, cameras and a high-resolution printer.

"The fraud ring operated in Woodburn for more than a decade and produced over 10,000 fraudulent documents that they distributed in Woodburn or mailed to customers around the United States," U.S. Attorney Billy Williams and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Sax said in the plea agreement posted Tuesday in court documents. Previous detailed court documents remain under seal.

The Fraud Doc Ring communicated with customers using Facebook, email, Snapchat and in person, the plea deal states. Customers emailed, texted or mailed the ring digital passport-style photos for insertion into the fake ID cards, or visited a clandestine photography lab in Woodburn where their photos were taken, the plea agreement says. Customers paid electronically through PayPal, through the mail or in person.

In the apartment, agents found dozens of security images and seals used in legitimate identification documents. They also found stored digital photos of more than 4,000 customers.

The Fraud Doc Ring produced a wide array of documents, including drivers' licenses for over 25 different states, Social Security cards, lawful permanent resident cards, U.S. and Mexican birth certificates and marriage licenses.

There is a huge market for such documents. Immigrants working illegally in this country accounted for about 46 percent of America's roughly 800,000 crop farmworkers in recent years, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture. Many more work in the nation's hospitality, service and construction industries.

Merecias-Lopez's attorney, Brian Walker, did not immediately respond to emailed and phone messages requesting comment. Merecias-Lopez said in his petition to plead guilty that he has a 10th-grade education, and that he understands that conviction can lead to imprisonment and deportation.

Merecias-Lopez, 24, moved to Woodburn from Oaxaca in January 2017, long after the fraud ring began operating. He is responsible for creating at least 300 fraudulent U.S. government documents, according to the plea agreement.

Government prosecutors and Walker are jointly recommending a low sentence. For the false documents conviction, he faces a maximum 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine. The drug conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence and a $10 million fine.

Sonoff said no other arrests have been made and that the current criminal inquiry focuses only on Merecias-Lopez and his co-conspirators, not on their customers.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 18.

Democrats Winning 90% Congressional Districts with Large Foreign-Born Populations

Mass legal immigration is driving Democrats towards full electoral dominance, with left-wing politicians winning nearly 90 percent of congressional districts with larger than average foreign-born populations, analysis finds.

The Atlantic senior editor Ronald Brownstein analyzed Census Bureau statistics for the 2018 midterm elections, finding that the country’s admission of more than a million legal immigrants every year is set to hand over electoral dominance to House and Senate Democrats.

Among Brownstein’s findings is that nearly 90 percent of House congressional districts with a foreign-born population above the national average were won by Democrats. This concludes that every congressional district with a foreign-born population exceeding 14 percent had a 90 percent chance of being controlled by Democrats and only a ten percent chance of electing a Republican.

“After the 2018 result, Democrats now control more than 80 percent of the House seats in which minorities exceed their national share of the population, and nearly 90 percent of the seats with more immigrants than average, according to Census Bureau figures,” Brownstein writes.

Likewise, less than one-in-ten House Republicans represent a congressional district that has a foreign-born population larger than 14 percent.

It is not just congressional districts that are being driven towards Democrats through mass legal immigration. Entire states have been transformed, not only demographically, but electorally by the country’s current legal immigration levels....

Brownstein expects Democrats to largely target the remaining Senate Republicans in states with large foreign-born populations in the 2020 elections.

“Several of the remaining Republican Senate seats in that grouping (including Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, and perhaps Texas) will be among the top Democratic targets next year,” Brownstein writes.

Even the New York Times admits that continued legal immigration at its current rate of importing more than 1.2 million residents a year will transform the U.S. towards electoral dominance for Democrats.

This is most recently evident in Orange County, California — once a Republican stronghold — that has become entirely controlled by Democrats. The dominance of Democrats in Orange County has coincided with the county’s booming foreign-born population (Screenshot via the New York Times)...

Currently, the U.S. admits more than a million legal immigrants annually, with the vast majority deriving from chain migration, whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country. In 2017, the foreign-born population reached a record high of 44.5 million.

The U.S. is on track to import about 15 million new foreign-born voters in the next two decades should current legal immigration levels continue. Those 15 million new foreign-born voters include about eight million who will arrive in the country through chain migration.

University of Maryland, College Park researcher James Gimpel has found in recent years that more immigrants to the U.S. inevitably means more Democrat voters and thus, increasing electoral victories for the Democrat Party.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

 

How Barack Obama's DACA Encouraged Identity Theft by Illegal Aliens

As the dilemma of what to do about the illegal alien participants in former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has dominated the immigration debate for more than a year, a new investigation has revealed the lengths to which the previous chief executive facilitated the program.

They did so by, among other things, ignoring widespread identity theft by illegal aliens and keeping Americans in the dark about being cut off from their Social Security benefits. The findings show how DACA is not the act of benevolence that is portrayed in the media, and has actually caused great harm to American citizens. It simply has to end.

Diving deep into the beginnings of DACA, Jan Ting, a law professor at Temple and former assistant commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, details how the Obama Homeland Security Department (DHS) kept the use of stolen Social Security numbers from being counted against would-be DACA applicants.

As he shows, the promise to forgive the crime, one that is pervasive among illegal aliens, was consciously designed to incentivize DACA-eligible “dreamers” — for the never-passed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — to come out of the shadows and apply for the program.

In addition to being a blatant violation of the Constitution and our immigration laws, DACA can now be seen as the product of an administration that refused to enforce the law for political reasons, and at the expense of honest citizens.

Further, Ting reveals how the DHS omission was supplemented by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which halted a program started in the 1970s that communicated to working people when there was a mismatch between the information submitted in employer wage reports and what was in the agency’s database.

The notices, which had formerly been posted to millions of people across the country and appear to be mandatory under SSA regulations, are important because when a submitted name/SSN combination isn't lining up in SSA's system, the citizen or legal resident's number appears illegitimate, which can lead to their Social Security benefits' being frozen.

This can happen, for instance, if there's a typographical error on an employer's W-2 wage report or when a newly married woman changes her name but forgets to report it. According to SSA records, hundreds of thousands of legitimate SSN users had been responding to such letters annually, requesting help from the SSA to ensure they received the benefits to which they are entitled.

Over the years, however, the vast majority of letter recipients have been illegal aliens. As Ting writes, before DACA, the SSA had estimated that three out of every four illegal aliens possessed a Social Security number, which had either been stolen from an American citizen or legal resident or simply made up.

Although almost never reported on, when illegal aliens steal a Social Security number, the consequences can be very serious for the legitimate user. On top of receiving IRS letters and audits accusing them of having income they are not claiming or having their benefits blocked, reconciling a compromised identifier is estimated to cost thousands of dollars and take years of effort.

This doesn't matter to most illegal aliens, given the benefits involved, including the documentation they need to obtain work in the U.S., where wages, at least compared to Mexico, are 10 times higher.

The pervasiveness of this crime was, however, apparently lost on the Obama DHS. When DACA was first implemented, DHS did nothing to allay the uncertainty and fear among applicants about whether the discovery of identity fraud would trigger a denial or be used to prosecute them.

As Ting shows, after the DACA rollout, DHS jumped to correct the "mistake," rushing out a statement after the program's announcement assuring potential applicants they were "not interested in using [DACA] as a way to identify one-off cases where some individual may have violated some federal law in an employment relationship." Just as with their initial immigration violation, DACA aliens' Social Security number fraud was to be swept under the rug.

Giving DACA applicants the assurance they needed to apply was further aided by the SSA. Just eight days after DACA was implemented, its letter-mailing program was halted. With applicants' receiving letters from the SSA flagging them as possible identity thieves, they would likely be far less confident in approaching the government for DACA benefits.

Moreover, for the SSA's program to persist alongside DACA would have simply looked absurd. On the one hand, DACA aliens would be told they had been flagged for a serious criminal violation, while on the other, they were being called "dreamers" and told they needn't worry about the violations.

Further, as Ting found, the suspension of the SSA letters wasn't made public until late 2016, a full four years after the program was terminated. Publicly announcing the suspension just days after DACA went into effect no doubt would have created suspicion from an American public already skeptical of Obama's unprecedented amnesty push.

That Obama would go to such lengths to ensure the successful rollout of DACA is unsurprising, considering the dubious legal justifications of the program to begin with, along with other extreme nonenforcement measures taken throughout his tenure.

The direct harm inflicted on the American public, the details of which we hope will come to the surface as this story unfolds, perhaps puts it above other damaging aspects of Obama's immigration legacy.

Those dubious justifications included the "prioritization" of removals only for serious criminal aliens, plus the legal attacks on state and local governments that sought to cooperate with the federal government's immigration enforcement efforts.

But the direct harm inflicted on the American public, the details of which we hope will come to the surface as this story unfolds, perhaps puts it above other damaging aspects of Obama's immigration legacy.

For now, we at the Immigration Reform Law Institute are suing SSA and DHS, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), for records concerning decisions made by the DACA program's architects. Congress, the relevant inspectors general, and the Department of Justice should to investigate the matter fully.

Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

A good bill went awry in the Legislature; consequences follow

You can trace the course of HB 4111 in the just-closed session of the Oregon Legislature and learn a lot about how political ball is being played there now to serve entrenched interests.

A perfectly good bill relating to Department of Transportation documents, which described “fees required when person is applying to replace or renew current driver license with Real ID compliant driver license or is applying for new original driver license that is Real ID compliant” was hi-jacked by means of an amendment and converted into yet another benefit — official driver licenses — for a group of illegal aliens.  This benefit can reverberate in future elections also unless voter registration processes are tightened.

The bill was Pre-Session filed, and originally sponsored by several Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Carl Wilson, of Grants Pass.  After the hi-jacking into a benefit for illegal aliens, Rep. Wilson removed his name from sponsorship and spoke against HB 4111.  As passed on March 3, HB 4111 was sponsored by these legislators, all Democrats:  Reps. Witt, Hernandez, Alonso Leon, Greenlick, Keny-Guyer, Salinas, Sanchez, Sollman, Williamson, and Senators Gelser and Manning. 

The maneuver to change the bill was accomplished through a Senate amendment referred to as Dash-10 in legislative lingo.  Then the bill incorporating “Dash-10” was put before the House for a final vote on Saturday afternoon, March 3, in the waning hours of the session

The claim is that “Dash-10” applies only to persons enrolled in the DACA and TPS programs, but those programs are not mentioned in the bill, and the bill contains other provisions that appear to weaken requirements for verification of applications.

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll watched the action:   “… they introduced the amendment as Dash -2, with Rep. Hernandez as the sponsor - and then pulled it – and then, re-introduced it as Dash-10 - with the Senate Transportation Committee as the sponsor, then pulled it again ‘for negotiations,’ then, submitted the bill to the Senate with the amendment ‘engrossed’ in the bill.  It seems at every turn, and with virtually NO notice, the effort was made to obscure the fact that forces were at work behind the scenes to ADD driver cards for illegal aliens to HB4111.  Several people told me they went to OLIS and saw no amendment - so, ultimately did not submit comments - or call in about it.  Would we call that a slight of hand?”

Originally, the bill was introduced in the House on February 5.  The House considered the bill and passed it, without changing the text.  Then it went to the Senate where advocates for benefits to illegal aliens succeeded through “Dash-10” in turning the bill into a tool to suit their purposes.  It passed the Senate by a vote of 20-8, with 2 members not voting.  All Democrats present voted Yes, along with 4 Republicans, Senators DeBoer, Hansell, Thompson, and Winters.

Because the Senate amendment had changed the bill, it had to go back to the House for a final vote, 36-22.  Again, all Democrats voted Yes.  One Republican voted Yes, Rep. Richard Vial, who represents Sherwood, Wilsonville and Gaston.  All other Republicans present voted No.

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll submitted testimony to the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation hearing on Feb. 26.  Her statement to the Committee can be read here.

OFIR Board member Mark Callahan gave oral testimony which can viewed in the Legislative video recording of Committee proceedings at: http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=24705.  He appears at about 6:35 in the video, speaking for approximately 2 minutes.  He entered into the Committee record a colorful chart  showing M88 vote results statewide; see it here

OFIR Board member Janice Dysinger submitted testimony also.  For some time, Ms. Dysinger, has been involved in research on the conduct of state elections and is active in Oregonians for Fair Elections, a citizen group working to protect the integrity of our state’s elections.  Her detailed statement to the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation on Feb. 26, raised many good questions about voter registration in Oregon and how it would be impacted by HB 4111.  See her statement here.

The only person who submitted testimony in favor of HB 4111 was Andrea Williams, Executive Director, Causa Oregon.   She wrote a letter that was entered into the record.

While Secretary of State Richardson recently gave Oregon’s voting system a clean bill of health, it’s clear that the registration processes can easily be corrupted and probably are, to an extent far beyond what the public is led to believe. There’s a high probability that HB 4111 would make the problem of illegal voting worse.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET OREGON ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

To OFIR members who feel discouraged after the passage of HB 4111 – remember – that is not the final move in immigration policy.  The route to change is open to us, in election of legislators who understand the importance of immigration controls and will put the interests of U.S. citizens first. 
 
Already through an informed and civic-minded citizenry, the U.S. has elected a President who believes in vigorous immigration law enforcement.  Other states are cooperating in the effort, and Oregon has shown broad support in the 2014 vote on Measure 88. 

Primary elections are coming up soon -- in May.  With members’ help, OFIR will provide information on the immigration positions of candidates, and members will have the opportunity to support good candidates and work to get them elected. The next session of the Legislature will convene in February 2019, after the November 2018 elections. 

You can view the candidate information that  OFIR posted on its website for the 2014 and 2016 elections here.  Many 2018 candidates for the Legislature and statewide offices have already replied to the 2018 Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project questionnaire which includes questions on immigration policy.

Already candidates are speaking publicly and discussing issues; many have websites online.

In their candidacy websites, some candidates make their positions on immigration issues quite clear.  OFIR hopes to post all relevant information on its website for as many races as possible.   Three candidates for Governor who have good positions on immigration spoke at the February OFIR meeting. 

Oregon lawmakers push to repeal sanctuary state designation, make English official language

...Gov. Kate Brown, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland -- have all said they would not allow legislation rescinding Oregon's sanctuary state designation to progress. On the contrary, Brown has signed an executive order strengthening Oregon's laws shielding undocumented immigrants and ...

Williamson said in a statement Wednesday that she's "appalled" House Republicans would consider repealing the state's sanctuary designation.

"Oregon is better than this," she said. "This bill only serves to further divide and polarize our state, to scapegoat and threaten our immigrant populations."

House Bill 2917, sponsored by Esquivel, Nearman and Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, would require state agencies and contractors they hire to use the federal E-Verify system, which allows employers to check that prospective laborers are legally allowed to work in the United States.

Questions on the accuracy of election returns

 
Oregon officials, Democratic Party politicians, and advocates for illegal aliens claim that voter fraud is not a problem in Oregon.
 
In the recent election, Oregon officials were quick to describe how carefully they count the ballots; however, elections can also be tainted by inadequate voter registration procedures.  There could be many people voting in Oregon and other states who are not citizens and do not have the right to vote even though they received and returned ballots.
 
Besides voters automatically registered under Oregon's  new motor-voter law, individuals can register themselves. This is strictly an honor system and wide open to fraud.  The voter registration form can be downloaded from a computer.  The form says that if a person does not have an Oregon driver’s license (it can even be a suspended driver’s license) or a Social Security number or “valid Oregon identification” [not further defined], the person can “provide a copy of one of the following that shows your name and current address.”   The acceptable identification options listed include “valid photo identification [not further defined], a paycheck stub, a utility bill, a bank statement, a government document [not further defined].”
 
These rules are very loose and leave too much authority in the hands of officials who may or may not have a personal interest in the outcome of elections.
 
Voter registration in Oregon has been operated on the honor system for decades.  To qualify, one simply had to check on the registration form that he/she was a U.S. citizen.  No one verified the accuracy of this claim.
 
Further, as stated in the 2016 official Voters’ Pamphlet on p.8:  “If you do not provide valid identification, you will not be eligible to vote for Federal races.  You will, however, still be eligible to vote for state and local contests.”
 
This statement announces that anyone—ANYONE—is eligible to vote for state and local contests in Oregon. How much more can politicians downgrade the value of citizenship?
 
The motor voter bill, HB 2177, was introduced at the request of Gov. Kate Brown, on January 12, 2015, fast-tracked through the Legislature, and passed on a party-line vote.  Only one Democrat, Sen. Betsy Johnson, opposed the bill.  No Republicans voted for it.
 
There have been many studies showing widespread illegal voting in the U.S. in recent elections.  A summary of recent evidence is posted on the website of the Federation for American Immigration Reform: “Noncitizens, Voting Violations and U.S. Elections.” 
 
A few years ago, Ruth Bendl and the Washington County GOP Voter Integrity group examined voting records in Washington County and found that numerous illegal aliens were voting there.  Later, she and former Rep. Jeff Kropf recorded 7 videos discussing voter fraud problems in Oregon. Further information can be found on the Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project’s website. which has a section, Voter Integrity Campaign.
 
In every session of the Oregon Legislature from 2003 to date, conscientious legislators have introduced bills in the Oregon House to require proof of citizenship to register for voting, and the bills have routinely been squashed by Democratic Party members.  It’s time to enact this requirement.
 
In a recent interview, Catherine Englebrecht, founder of True the Vote, said that every industrialized country in the world has a mandatory form of voter ID except the United States.  She described Mexico’s voting system, which is based on more advanced technology than U.S. systems.
 
On November 28, soon after the presidential election, True the Vote issued a statement supporting President-Elect Trump's claim of illegal alien voting:  “True the Vote absolutely supports President-elect Trump’s recent comment about the impact of illegal voting, as reflected in the national popular vote. We are still collecting data and will be for several months, but our intent is to publish a comprehensive study on the significant impact of illegal voting in all of its many forms and begin a national discussion on how voters, states, and the Trump Administration can best address this growing problem.”

Oregon measure calls for proof of citizenship to vote

SALEM — With concerns that are based on fear, rather than proof, that voter fraud exists in Oregon, a conservative duo is proposing a solution: put a clause in the state constitution that requires all voters to prove they’re U.S. citizens before they can vote.

Two Republicans have already filed a proposed constitutional amendment well ahead of the 2018 election that would require each of the state’s 2.5 million voters to register again within two years, this time proving to the state they are eligible U.S. citizens using approved government documents.

That way, says Mike Nearman, a Republican representative from Polk County, there’s proof that only eligible citizens are voting.

“I’ve heard rumors of what went on in House District 22, which is Woodburn and north Salem, that there was heavy recruiting and voter registration drives among populations of Latinos that are likely to have a lot of illegal aliens,” Nearman said last week in a phone interview. “I don’t have my doubts that it is going on at least at some level.”

Woodburn, in the Willamette Valley, is majority Hispanic or Latino, according to 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have online registration that has the little check box that says I am a U.S. citizen. That’s all there is,” Nearman said. “If I’m a citizen of Germany or Switzerland I can just go check that box and do that.”

The policy, which hasn’t gained popularity in Oregon politics, is picking up some steam nationally following the presidential election, despite being viewed as voter suppression by civil liberties groups.

After Republican Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton in the election, there have been unfounded accusations of large-scale voter fraud. Trump fueled the fire by alleging on Twitter he didn’t actually lose the popular vote by over 2.4 million votes. Instead, he said, without citing any evidence, he won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

Kris Kobach, a Republican and Kansas secretary of state, is considered a prominent supporter of the concept Nearman is pitching for Oregon. Kobach has been an ardent defender of a law that seeks to require Kansans to prove their citizenship before registering to vote.

A federal court this year struck down the Kansas proof of citizenship law. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 against a similar law in Arizona, saying the National Voter Registration Act, also called Motor Voter, which allows voters to register without proving citizenship, pre-empted the state laws.

“We know this kind of requirement stopped tens of thousands of people from registering in Kansas,” said Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project from the American Civil Liberties Union. “People aren’t interested in having an intellectually honest debate about it because there’s no evidence to back up their assertions about widespread registration of noncitizens.”

Kobach may have plans to address the court ruling, and as a member of Trump’s transition team, he has the ear of the incoming president.

A photo taken by an Associated Press photographer as Kobach met with Trump on Nov. 21 showed a document Kobach was holding that included plans for Trump’s first year as president. Much of the document was obscured by Kobach’s hand and arm but includes a reference to voting:

“Draft Amendments to National Voter—” the rest of the sentence is covered by Kobach’s arm, but elections experts believe it refers to the National Voter Registration Act, the federal law that allows voters to register by attesting to their citizenship.

Kobach didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Here’s the bottom line: courts have ruled that the current version of the (Motor Voter Act) pre-empts a proof-of-citizenship requirement and that trying to have a separate registration system for state elections is unlawful,” said Josh Douglas, associate professor of law at the University of Kentucky College of Law.

If Kobach wanted proof-of-citizenship laws to be implemented on a wider scale, he could suggest amending the Motor Voter Act to put in place a national requirement for prospective voters to prove citizenship before voting, or allow states to enact their own laws with that requirement, Ho said.

Under Nearman’s proposal for Oregon, everyone seeking to participate in elections would have to register using a U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, original or certified birth certificate or other government document.

Some Republicans have sought that level of proof for registering to vote in Oregon long before Nearman became chief petitioner of the proposed amendment.

Some Republicans in the state House and Senate have pitched the idea every session since at least 2005. The closest it’s come to the governor’s desk is when it passed the Republican-controlled House in 2005 before dying in the Senate.

Nearman didn’t say there was proof that voters in House District 22 illegally registered to vote — a felony in Oregon. The Bulletin also spoke with Jaime Arredondo, director of Accion Politica PCUNista, a group that organizes Latino voters, who helped run a voter registration drive in the district.

“Our groups have been doing voter registration in this area for over 20 years,” Arredondo said. “We cover every step of the way, checking on citizenship, on age and so-forth. Our folks know when they go out there what their requirements are to do that.”

Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins, a Democrat tapped in 2015 to replace Kate Brown when she became governor, said in an interview Friday there hadn’t been accusations of voter fraud in Oregon this year. She said she heard of one ineligible voter who registered but later contacted the county clerk and unregistered.

“It’s not that we couldn’t investigate a complaint. We could, if people actually had evidence of voter registration drives where people were being encouraged to ignore the legal responsibility involved or downplay it or anything like that,” Atkins said. “Evidence of that happening would be something that we would probably in partnership with the Department of Justice go after pretty severely.”

Still, without a law requiring voters to take the step to show the state or county clerks that they’re in the country legally, of age and not a felon serving an ongoing sentence, those pushing for a law that would require that level of proof maintain that Oregon’s elections are vulnerable to fraud.

“I think it’s not just 2016; I think it’s been happening for a long time,” said James Buchal, a Portland attorney and co-chief petitioner of the 2018 initiative who also ran for attorney general in 2012.

Rather than require the secretary of state’s office or county clerks to take steps to verify that residents on the voter rolls weren’t registered illegally, Buchal and Nearman’s measure would require each of the 2.5 million — and rapidly climbing — voters in Oregon to register again, this time proving citizenship with an approved government ID.

Buchal thinks that may hurt their case if the two collect the 117,578 needed signatures and move forward with a campaign in the 2018 election.

“People are lazy,” Buchal said. “If they find out they would have to re-register, they might not like that.”

Should you have to prove citizenship to get a Washington driver’s license?

OLYMPIA – Legislation requiring Washington state residents to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency to get state driver’s licenses so elections officials can ensure non-citizens are not trying to register to vote was proposed Friday by Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

The issue has come up in previous legislative sessions, but lawmakers have been unsuccessful in passing legislation.

On Friday, Wyman pointed to questions that have been raised about the citizenship of Arcan Cetin, who is charged with five counts of premeditated murder following the shooting deaths of five people at Cascade Mall in Burlington last week. Wyman said Cetin, who registered to vote in 2014, voted in three elections.

Washington is the only state in the country that does not require proof of legal presence in the U.S. to get a standard state driver’s license or ID...

Washington state is currently not in compliance with a 2005 federal law – known as REAL ID – that requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they are legally in the United States....

Currently there’s not a bill, but spokesman David Ammons said that Wyman hopes that key lawmakers who have long worked on this issue will have something to introduce when the Legislature convenes in January.

Wyman, joined by county election leaders, announced the proposal in Spokane. The package would also allow for automatic voter registration for people who present citizen verification when they get their licenses, as is done in Oregon. Voters in Washington would be able to opt out of automatic registration under the proposal. Wyman called her proposal “long overdue.”..

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - voter registration