How Noncitizens Can Swing Elections (Without Even Voting Illegally)

Hans von Spakovsky, Daily Signal, October 6, 2015

In an article in Politico, Mark Rozell, acting dean of the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University, and Paul Goldman, a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, point out a fact that should greatly concern all Americans: that the presence of millions of noncitizens, both legal and illegal, could tilt the presidential election toward the Democrat Party and decide the election in favor of the eventual Democratic nominee.

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But as Rozel and Goldman accurately point out, noncitizens may be changing the outcome of presidential elections even without voting illegally. This is related to the problem of some states having more representatives in Congress than they should, and others being shortchanged unfairly due to the huge–and growing–population of illegal aliens whom the Obama administration and its political allies want to provide permanent amnesty.

All of this stems from the way apportionment is conducted. There are 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Under Sec. 2 of Article I of the Constitution and Sec. 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment, every ten years, after the “Enumeration” (the Census), we redistribute those 435 seats based on the “whole number of persons in each State.” In other words, the number of members of the House that each state gets is based on the total population of each state relative to the total population of the U.S., which includes noncitizens. Thus, the upwards of 12 million illegal aliens present in the U.S., combined with other aliens who are here legally but are not citizens and have no right to vote, distort representation in the House.

Various studies have been done on the effects of this distortion, including by Leonard Steinhorn of American University and scholars at Texas A&M University and the Center for Immigration Studies. If you calculate the results based on the latest Census numbers, according to Steinhorn, ten states each are short a congressional seat that they would otherwise have if apportionment were based on citizen population: Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

States with large numbers of illegal aliens and other noncitizens have congressional seats they otherwise would not have (and should not be entitled to): California (five seats), Florida (one seat), New York (one seat), Texas (two seats), and Washington State (one seat).

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This also twists our presidential election process. Under our Electoral College system as laid out in Article II, Sec. 1, the number of electors that each state receives is a combination of its two senators and the number of representatives it has in the House (the one exception is the District of Columbia, which gets three votes courtesy of the Twenty-Third Amendment). Thus, states like California have more Electoral College votes than they should, while other states like Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are shorted in their Electoral College votes.

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Goldman and Rozell point out that Romney won 24 states in 2012. Three battleground states important to Obama’s victory were Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, which have 60 combined electoral votes. If Romney had won these states, too, he would still have had only 266 electoral votes, four short of the 270 needed to win. But according to Goldman and Rozell, if the Electoral College were apportioned according to citizens, then if Romney had won Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, the electoral votes of those states combined with the other 24 Romney won would have given him the 270 votes needed to be president.

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