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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    US House committee examines requiring ID or proof of citizen

    US House committee examines requiring ID or proof of citizenship to vote
    June 23, 2006 06:38 AM MDT

    WASHINGTON -- House lawmakers on Thursday considered legislation mirroring an Arizona law that would require voters in a federal election to prove they are U.S. citizens and present a photo ID.

    The proposal sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., would apply similar registration requirements as Arizona's Proposition 200, a voter-approved law that also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants, to federal elections.

    Supporters told the House Administration Committee in a hearing that legislation is needed to prevent fraud.

    Opponents argued requiring citizenship papers and an ID to get a ballot would deter countless immigrant citizens and many others from voting.

    "Over the past five decades, Congress has never seriously entertained legislation that would reduce participation," said Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I., a former secretary of state. "Regrettably, H.R. 4844 would have that effect and mark a dangerous departure from past efforts."

    But supporters of the measure ticked off examples from several states in which non-citizens have voted in recent elections. The public has lost confidence in the election process as a result, they said.

    Houston's voter registration officials, for example, have found evidence of illegal voting by Norwegian and Brazilian nationals.

    In New Mexico, a host of lawsuits were filed in 2004 dealing with voter identification requirements and ballot access issues.

    "Fraudulent registration and fraudulent voting is a problem," said Patrick Rogers, a New Mexico attorney who presented the committee with the voter ID card of a woman holding a green card, who claimed she was pressured to register while standing in line to receive government services.

    "This is a simple common sense measure to protect the right of all honest citizens of whatever partisan or ethnic background to participate in our elections without having their vote canceled by a ballot cast by someone who is not legally entitled to vote," Rogers said.

    Hyde's bill would require anyone registering to vote in a federal election to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. Voters would have to show a valid photo ID to receive a ballot.

    Democrats on the committee vehemently opposed the measure and at points, the hearing grew testy.

    Committee Chairman Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., banged his gavel repeatedly as Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., asked questions beyond her allotted time, wondering why a new law was necessary when it's already illegal for non-citizens to vote.

    Arizona's Proposition 200 was approved in 2004. The ID rules were cleared by federal officials in October and were first used in local elections in March.

    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
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  2. #2
    Senior Member greyparrot's Avatar
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    May 2005
    If the republicans are so intent to retain the majority in the house and senate they BETTER get cracking on this! Immigration reform is going to be a huge issue in the upcoming elections and, with the majority of Americans favoring the strick immigration laws already on the books, why risk close races by continuing to turn a blind eye to lax voter ID requirments. Make no mistake, these emboldened illegals feel they have every "right" to vote...and will do so, in droves.

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