State officials and lawmakers from California and Texas to Pennsylvania and West Virginia are raising concerns over the threat that noncitizens on the voter rolls pose to the integrity of U.S. elections.
On "Fox and Friends" on Thursday, Fox Nation's Tomi Lahren said that the issue is most pronounced in California. "We have a voter fraud and election integrity epidemic in the state of California," she said, "I want to expose it so I sat down with the great ladies of Election Integrity Project-California (EIPCa)."
The Election Integrity Project-California, founded in 2010, is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit volunteer organization that advocates for citizens to become active participants in the electoral process, according to its website.
"Do you know you can register to vote and vote in California with never having shown a picture ID?" EIPCa chief analyst Ellen Swensen told Lahren in the latest episode of Fox Nation's "No Interruption."
"The [voter] registration form says, 'Give us your driver's license number or your Social Security, if you have one.' And if you don't, you can still register," said Swensen.
"So to say that illegal immigrants are voting is a given in this state?" asked Lahren.
"Absolutely," said EIPCa president and co-founder Linda Paine, "because when you open the door to corruption and fraud, people are going to walk through it."
Paine told Fox News that, since 2012, her organization has trained tens of thousands of volunteers to observe polling places across the state and report instances of suspected abuse.
According to Paine, they have recorded around 100,000 reports and the state has responded to none of them.
Paine said that her group has struggled to provide concrete evidence of instances of illegal immigrants voting in California because they have no way of determining the citizenship status of voters.
However, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has conceded that noncitizens have been registered to vote in California. He attributes those instances to mistakes in the voter registration process.
"My concern is it risks jeopardizing confidence in the electoral process,'" said Padilla in October 2018 after it was shown that at least 1,500 individuals, including noncitizens, had been erroneously added to the voter rolls.
Those registrations were canceled, but Paine stressed that the state only canceled the registrations of noncitizens, who self-reported their registrations because the state does not have the ability to make that determination of their own.
"California has managed to create a firewall by passing certain laws so that the secretary of state cannot access the list of noncitizens and illegal people from the DMV, which has a very complete list," said EIPCa's vice president, Ruth Weiss.
"They're not allowed to access that list from the Department of Homeland Security," said Weiss. "And yet they're the ones responsible to make sure that only legitimate citizens get on the voter rolls."
Paine contends that efforts, taken under the guise of increasing voter turnout, have created more risk to the voting system. Specifically, EIPCa points to the federal "motor voter" program, which requires the Department of Motor Vehicles offices to offer people the opportunity to register to vote.
In Pennsylvania and West Virginia, there have been reported instances of DMV staff mistakenly offering registrations to noncitizens.
California has taken the program a step further, by requiring anyone applying for a driver's license to opt-out of voter registration.
"[Illegal immigrants] are automatically put on the voter rolls and then it is up to them to say, 'Hey, wait, I'm not a citizen?'" asked Lahren.
"Right," said Swensen, adding, "Once they do find out that they are registered, it's dangerous for that noncitizen, because if they want to become a citizen in the future, it might harm their ability to become a citizen because they've broken the law by registering to vote."
"I encourage everyone to take a look at this episode because it's happening in California and it's going to happen in your state very soon," concluded Lahren on Fox and Friends.
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