Academics Ask: Do Non-Citizens Vote in U.S. Elections? (Answer - Yes)
Warning - be prepared for a mountain of derp over this one:
First, the published paper by Jesse T. Richman, Gulshan A. Chattha, and David C. Earnest:
• First use of representative sample to measure non-citizen voting in USA.
• Some non-citizens cast votes in U.S. elections despite legal bans.
• Non-citizens favor Democratic candidates over Republican candidates.
• Non-citizen voting likely changed 2008 outcomes including Electoral College votes and the composition of Congress.
• Voter photo-identification rules have limited effect on non-citizen participation.
In spite of substantial public controversy, very little reliable data exists concerning the frequency with which non-citizen immigrants participate in United States elections. Although such participation is a violation of election laws in most parts of the United States, enforcement depends principally on disclosure of citizenship status at the time of voter registration. This study examines participation rates by non-citizens using a nationally representative sample that includes non-citizen immigrants. We find that some non-citizens participate in U.S. elections, and that this participation has been large enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes, and Congressional elections. Non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.
They just conveniently happen to have an article in the WaPo today:
I won’t cut out paragraphs to highlight as the whole thing ought to be read.
Here’s the first thing I notice - no where do the authors state that the non-citizens are here illegally. The non-citizens could well be legal residents (and in their countries of birth legal residents there may have some voting rights and thus they might assume likewise here.)
Secondly, the authors admit that the data sample is small.
Because of that, I think it is irresponsible of them to speculate that the key Senate votes were influenced by these non-citizen voters.
Anyway, consider yourselves forewarned - you will be beaten over the head with this paper by your local xenophobes.
In the WaPo article they suggest that the Minnesota US senate outcome was indeed decided by non-citizen votes. In other words, Franken would not have been elected if the non-citizens had not voted.
This is major fuel for the xenophobic hate-right. Expect a full on voter ID effort, nationally.
Even though the authors point out that non-citizen voters already likely had IDs and used them, so having an ID didn’t stop them.
To me the issue comes down to registering to vote, not putting up hurdles at the polls themselves.
Then again, since half of eligible citizens don’t bother to vote, I’m not sure what sort of moral ground that half could stand on, if they bother to complain about non-citizens voting.