Oklahoma Advances Bill To Prevent Non-Citizens From Voting

Republicans across the country have spent years pushing for new election reform laws that would, among other things, prevent non-citizens from voting.

Most recently, the GOP-led Oklahoma Senate advanced a bill that would take decisive action in removing such individuals from the state’s voter rolls. Only one of the state’s eight Democratic senators voted against the measure, securing a 45-1 victory for the proposal.

According to reports, the proposed legislation would use data compiled by county courts to determine which residents are ineligible from voting. Specifically, clerks would be allowed to provide a list of people “excused from jury duty for not being a citizen” to their respective county election boards.

Upon receipt of that information, SB 377 calls on election board secretaries to “cancel the registration of each registered voter included on the list” before sending the names to local and federal prosecutors.

The bill will now be presented to the state House of Representatives, which is also controlled by Republicans.

According to state Sen. Brent Howard, who sponsored SB 377, the motivation for its approach came from county officials who raised the possibility that individuals interested in avoiding jury duty might do so by claiming that they were not U.S. citizens.

“If someone will self-profess they are unable to serve their civic duty of serving on a jury because they are not a citizen, then we need to ensure they are not also on the voter rolls,” he said.

He went on to call the bill “a common-sense approach to ensuring voter roll integrity and that Oklahoma does not have voters registered who are not lawfully allowed to vote.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Democratic-led states and districts are pushing for the opposite result by advancing legislation that would allow non-citizens to vote.

The D.C. Council has proposed such a plan, but it encountered significant opposition in the GOP-led House of Representatives earlier this month.

“Our nation’s capital city is in crisis, but the D.C. Council has prioritized radical bills that would embolden criminals to remain on the streets and allow non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in local elections,” said Rep. James Comer (R-KY). “We must ensure that these terrible laws do not take effect.”