Proof of Citizenship

Protecting Eligible Voters

Coinciding with the nation’s tense immigration debate of recent years is a strong belief among certain partisans that undocumented people are somehow undermining the democratic process.


Instances of non-citizens attempting to cast a ballot are extremely rare, but this drummed up fear has real consequences: it excludes legitimate voters who do not have documentary proof of citizenship, such as seniors, students living away from home, or married people who adopt the surname of their spouses.

Further, proof-of-citizenship policies essentially quash community-based voter registration drives, which are responsible for reaching large numbers of potential voters at markets, churches, and other public places where one is unlikely to carry birth certicates and passports.

Ensuring that eligible Americans are not prevented from registering and voting due to unnecessary and discriminatory bureaucratic hurdles like proof-of-citizenship requirements is one of Project Vote’s key missions.

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DOJ Fight Over Georgia Proof-of-Citizenship Law Continues

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Last May, the Justice Department struck down a voter verification procedure that was discovered to be error-prone and discriminatory. Around... Read more

Tennessee Bill Would Require Proof of Citizenship to Register to Vote

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A Tennessee bill requiring voter applicants to prove their citizenship status was scheduled to be heard today in the House... Read more

Dangerous Election Bills Introduced in Virginia

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The Virginia General Assembly is busily grinding out bills that will make it considerably more difficult for Virginians to cast ballots that count. In recent years, voter ID laws have cropped up in states across the country, aimed to stymie a source of fraud that simply does not exist, and Virginia is no different. Under current law, if a voter does not or cannot produce appropriate identification at the polls, the voter can simply sign a sworn document attesting his or her identity, then cast a regular ballot. Proposed legislation in both the House of Delegates and the Senate aims to take this option away from Virginia voters and place still more stringent restrictions on the kinds of ID that are accepted. Read more

Ga. Secretary of State Asks DOJ to OK Discriminatory Voter Verification Procedure

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A Georgia voter list maintenance procedure that the Department of Justice shut down as “discriminatory” in May is being brought... Read more

Arizona Proposition 200 Decision, Another Strike Against the NVRA and Voter Participation

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The federal district court in Arizona has just granted partial summary judgment to Arizona in Gonzalez v Arizona. The disappointing decision upholds the part of Proposition 200, a 2004 anti-voter and immigrant rights initiative which requires voter registration applicants to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. Read more