U.S. House Republicans called for an investigation into whether noncitizens are voting in Minnesota’s elections in a letter sent to Secretary of State Steve Simon this week.
As the letter explains, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient testified before a Minnesota House committee last month in support of a bill to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
“We are voting. Our people are voting,” she said. “Know your humanity and know that you are all in these chairs because of us. Please be of service or else we’re going to come and take your seats as well.”
“We are voting. Our people are voting. If you don’t pass this bill, people are going to vote you all out,” Angelico Bello, who said she is a DACA recipient, told the House Transportation Committee Jan. 10. Read more: https://t.co/Qv0JtcpyBX pic.twitter.com/TkaIG7Sfjf
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) January 19, 2023
In response, Simon’s office said it “has no indication that noncitizen voting is a problem in Minnesota or nationally.”
DACA recipients do not have lawful status and only U.S. citizens can vote in elections.
“For voters to have faith in our election system at the federal and state level, the enforcement of these prohibitions is of vital importance. Unfortunately, instead of finding ways to promote voter confidence, your office gave these allegations the back of the hand,” Republicans said in their letter to Simon.
The letter was led by U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil of Wisconsin, who chairs a U.S. House committee with “broad oversight of our nation’s federal elections.” All four Republican members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation signed the letter, including Majority Whip Tom Emmer and U.S. Reps. Brad Finstad, Pete Stauber, and Michelle Fischbach.
“In the interest of ensuring that voter confidence in our elections processes and outcomes is protected in the next federal election, please respond with an explanation detailing what steps your office will take to investigate claims that DACA recipients and other noncitizens are voting in Minnesota’s elections, and your plan for remediation if your office confirms the validity of these allegations,” the letter concludes.
Emmer said any ineligible ballot cast in Minnesota “should be cause for serious concern.”
“It is deeply concerning that in Minnesota, noncitizens are proudly touting that they have repeatedly voted in elections — which is not only against both state and federal law, but ultimately undermines the integrity of our elections. Secretary Simon must identify how this was able to happen and immediately provide a remedy,” Steil said in a press release.
Simon has also dismissed concerns that the “driver’s licenses for all” bill will make it easier for noncitizens to vote. Democrats rejected amendments to their bill that would have required licenses issued to illegal immigrants to include a “not voting” label.
“The Drivers Licenses for All bill will not change Minnesota election laws at all,” Simon said after the bill passed the Minnesota House this week. “Many people who are ineligible to vote (like green card holders or sixteen year-olds) already have drivers licenses. For that reason, drivers licenses are not used as proof of citizenship.”