A new law signed by California Gov. Gray Davis (D.) will make it easier for illegal aliens to vote in the state. SB 60 gives drivers licenses to illegal aliens residing in the state and under the federal “motor voter” law they can now register to vote more easily as well, though not without breaking the law.
The “motor voter” law mandates that states must allow people to register to vote at the same time they get a drivers license. Californias voter registration form, available at its DMV offices, requires as identification a drivers license number or the last four digits of the applicants Social Security number. Before SB 60, only legal California residents had either of these (unless they had broken the law to obtain them). Now, illegal aliens will have everything they need to register to vote-except citizenship.
“When you register to vote you must provide your California drivers license or California identification card number, if you have one. If you do not have a drivers license or ID card, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN),” says the form (emphasis in original). The form also requires the applicant to state that he is a citizen of the United States of America. It also says: “NOTICE: It is a felony if you sign this statement even though you know it is untrue; you can be fined and jailed for up to three years.”
A spokeswoman for the California Secretary of States office said that the state does not verify the citizenship of voter registration applicants, and any voter fraud of this kind would have to be brought to its attention. “If somebody fills it out and they say theyre a U.S. citizen and theyre actually not, somebody would have to file a complaint or there would have to be some double-checking mechanism” which does not currently exist, she said. She added that one could be considered in the future.
“SB 60 has not been implemented yet,” said the spokeswoman. For now, the onus is on the person registering, she said. “The accountability lies with the person who registers to vote. If there is a complaint filed with our unit, we investigate every case.” She said that she believed people have been prosecuted for illegally registering to vote in the past but could not provide details.
Karen England, director of programs at Sacramentos Capitol Resource Institute which has investigated illegal alien voting, said that she was unaware of any reliable estimates of how many illegal aliens vote in California or how many may begin voting as a result of SB 60. “Its more difficult to get a license if you move from another state to California than if you move illegally from Mexico,” she said. Those who move to California from another state are supposed to provide proof of their new address and a form of identification in order to get a new California drivers license, she said. She said she had never heard of a case of someone being prosecuted for illegally registering to vote.
England said that in the past, voters did not need identification when they went to the polls in California. But beginning next year, under the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, voters in states that accept certain federal funds will be required to show identification at the polls. Coincidentally, said England, SB 60 was passed just in time to provide illegal aliens “valid identification by the time its time to vote.”