Posted on June 1, 2023

How Did Hundreds of Noncitizens End Up on Chicago’s Voter Rolls?

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, May 29, 2023

Hundreds of noncitizens have been kicked off Chicago’s voter rolls after admitting they were never supposed to have been registered in the first place, according to a new study {snip}


The chief cause of the illegal registrations is Motor Voter, the nickname for 1993’s National Voter Registration Act. The idea was simple: Get more people signed up to vote by pushing them to register when they used a government service like obtaining a driver’s license.

Backers claimed success, as the voter rolls did jump.

But it also meant people who had no business registering also ended up on the lists.


The report follows one earlier this year on Maricopa County in Arizona, where PILF found 222 noncitizens who have been kicked off the rolls since 2015.

PILF says that’s just the universe of people who admitted to being noncitizens. There is no way to know how many other noncitizens still lurk on the rolls that have not come forward.


Voter registration cards offer two chances to assert citizenship. One is a Yes/No checkbox, and the other is the signature line, where the person is affirming to be a citizen.

Among the records PILF uncovered were registration cards where the person checked “No” but was still registered, presumably because officials only looked at the signature line. One of those cards, for a voter named Eiman, not only checked “No” but also gave a birth date of 2019 — clearly too young to be eligible to vote.


Even translating voting information into other languages doesn’t solve the issue. PILF found several cards in Spanish where the person checked the “No” box for citizenship and was still registered.


While federal law requires voters in federal elections to hold U.S. citizenship, some left-leaning jurisdictions have proposed allowing noncitizens to cast ballots in local elections.

States generally have moved the other way {snip}

Where the burden of proof lies, however, is still being fought out.

Arizona last year enacted a law requiring proof of citizenship before someone can vote in presidential elections. The Justice Department sued, arguing that went beyond the law, which only requires voters to attest to their citizenship.