H. Rept. 109-666 – Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006

109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-666

======================================================================



 
                 FEDERAL ELECTION INTEGRITY ACT OF 2006

                                _______
                                

 September 19, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Ehlers, from the Committee on House Administration, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4844]

  The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4844) to amend the National Voter Registration 
Act of 1993 to require any individual who desires to register 
or re-register to vote in an election for Federal office to 
provide the appropriate State election official with proof that 
the individual is a citizen of the United States to prevent 
fraud in Federal elections, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 
2006'' .

SEC. 2. REQUIRING VOTERS TO PROVIDE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.

  (a) Requirement to Provide Photo Identification as Condition of 
Receiving Ballot.--Section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 
(42 U.S.C. 15483(b)) is amended--
          (1) in the heading, by striking ``for Voters Who Register by 
        Mail'' and inserting ``for Providing Photo Identification''; 
        and
          (2) by striking paragraphs (1) through (3) and inserting the 
        following:
          ``(1) Individuals voting in person.--
                  ``(A) Requirement to provide identification.--
                Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except 
                as provided in subparagraph (B), the appropriate State 
                or local election official may not provide a ballot for 
                an election for Federal office to an individual who 
                desires to vote in person unless the individual 
                presents to the official--
                          ``(i) a government-issued, current, and valid 
                        photo identification; or
                          ``(ii) in the case of the regularly scheduled 
                        general election for Federal office held in 
                        November 2010 and each subsequent election for 
                        Federal office, a government-issued, current, 
                        and valid photo identification for which the 
                        individual was required to provide proof of 
                        United States citizenship as a condition for 
                        the issuance of the identification.
                  ``(B) Availability of provisional ballot.--If an 
                individual does not present the identification required 
                under subparagraph (A), the individual shall be 
                permitted to cast a provisional ballot with respect to 
                the election under section 302(a), except that the 
                appropriate State or local election official may not 
                make a determination under section 302(a)(4) that the 
                individual is eligible under State law to vote in the 
                election unless the individual presents the 
                identification required under subparagraph (A) to the 
                official not later than 48 hours after casting the 
                provisional ballot.
          ``(2) Individuals voting other than in person.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                provision of law and except as provided in subparagraph 
                (B), the appropriate State or local election official 
                may not accept any ballot for an election for Federal 
                office provided by an individual who votes other than 
                in person unless the individual submits with the 
                ballot--
                          ``(i) a copy of a government-issued, current, 
                        and valid photo identification; or
                          ``(ii) in the case of the regularly scheduled 
                        general election for Federal office held in 
                        November 2010 and each subsequent election for 
                        Federal office, a copy of a government-issued, 
                        current, and valid photo identification for 
                        which the individual was required to provide 
                        proof of United States citizenship as a 
                        condition for the issuance of the 
                        identification.
                  ``(B) Exception for overseas military voters.--
                Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to a 
                ballot provided by an absent uniformed services voter 
                who, by reason of active duty or service, is absent 
                from the United States on the date of the election 
                involved. In this subparagraph, the term `absent 
                uniformed services voter' has the meaning given such 
                term in section 107(1) of the Uniformed and Overseas 
                Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff--6(1)), 
                other than an individual described in section 107(1)(C) 
                of such Act.
          ``(3) Specific requirements for identifications.--For 
        purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2)--
                  ``(A) an identification is `government-issued' if it 
                is issued by the Federal Government or by the 
                government of a State; and
                  ``(B) an identification is one for which an 
                individual was required to provide proof of United 
                States citizenship as a condition for issuance if the 
                identification displays an official marking or other 
                indication that the individual is a United States 
                citizen.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 303 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15483) 
is amended--
          (1) in the heading, by striking ``for Voters Who Register by 
        Mail'' and inserting ``for Providing Photo Identification''; 
        and
          (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``subsections 
        (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) and (b)(3)(B)(i)(II)'' and inserting 
        ``subsection (a)(5)(A)(i)(II)''.
  (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act is amended 
by amending the item relating to section 303 to read as follows:

``Sec. 303. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements 
and requirements for providing photo identification.''.

  (d) Effective Date.--
          (1) In general.--This section and the amendments made by this 
        section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled 
        general election for Federal office held in November 2008 and 
        each subsequent election for Federal office.
          (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 303(d)(2) of such Act (42 
        U.S.C. 15483(d)(2)) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(2) Requirement to provide photo identification.--
        Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) shall apply with 
        respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal 
        office held in November 2008 and each subsequent election for 
        Federal office.''.

SEC. 3. MAKING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS AVAILABLE.

  (a) Requiring States to Make Identification Available.--Section 
303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)), as 
amended by section 2(a)(2), is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs (5) 
        and (6); and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
        paragraph:
          ``(4) Making photo identifications available.--
                  ``(A) In general.--During fiscal year 2008 and each 
                succeeding fiscal year, each State shall establish a 
                program to provide photo identifications which may be 
                used to meet the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) 
                by individuals who desire to vote in elections held in 
                the State but who do not otherwise possess a 
                government-issued photo identification.
                  ``(B) Identifications provided at no cost to indigent 
                individuals.--If a State charges an individual a fee 
                for providing a photo identification under the program 
                established under subparagraph (A)--
                          ``(i) the fee charged may not exceed the 
                        reasonable cost to the State of providing the 
                        identification to the individual; and
                          ``(ii) the State may not charge a fee to any 
                        individual who provides an attestation that the 
                        individual is unable to afford the fee.
                  ``(C) Identifications not to be used for other 
                purposes.--Any photo identification provided under the 
                program established under subparagraph (A) may not 
                serve as a government-issued photo identification for 
                purposes of any program or function of a State or local 
                government other than the administration of 
                elections.''.
  (b) Payments to States to Cover Costs.--Subtitle D of title II of 
such Act (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new part:

``PART 7--PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS OF PROVIDING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS TO 
                          INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS

``SEC. 297. PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS TO STATES OF PROVIDING PHOTO 
                    IDENTIFICATIONS FOR VOTING TO INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS.

  ``(a) Payments to States.--The Commission shall make payments to 
States to cover the costs incurred in providing photo identifications 
under the program established under section 303(b)(4) to individuals 
who are unable to afford the fee that would otherwise be charged under 
the program.
  ``(b) Amount of Payment.--The amount of the payment made to a State 
under this part for any year shall be equal to the amount of fees which 
would have been collected by the State during the year under the 
program established under section 303(b)(4) but for the application of 
section 303(b)(4)(B)(ii), as determined on the basis of information 
furnished to the Commission by the State at such time and in such form 
as the Commission may require.

``SEC. 297A. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  ``There are authorized to be appropriated for payments under this 
part such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008 and each 
succeeding fiscal year.''.
  (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act is amended 
by adding at the end of the item relating to subtitle D of title II the 
following:

``Part 7--Payments to Cover Costs of Providing Photo Identifications to 
                          Indigent Individuals

``Sec. 297. Payments to cover costs to States of providing photo 
identifications for voting to indigent individuals.
``Sec. 297A. Authorization of appropriations.''.

  (d) Effective Date.--This section and the amendments made by this 
section shall take effect October 1, 2007.

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to 
require each individual who desires to vote in an election for 
Federal office to provide the appropriate election official 
with a government-issued photo identification, and for other 
purposes.

            H.R. 4844-FEDERAL ELECTION INTEGRITY ACT OF 2006


                         Purpose of Legislation

    The purpose of H.R. 4844, the Federal Election Integrity 
Act of 2006 is to protect the franchise and reduce the 
opportunities for, and incidence of, vote fraud. Requiring 
those exercising the right to vote to properly identify 
themselves is a basic and necessary step to preserve the 
integrity of the voting process. Presenting photo 
identification when voting provides a simple and effective 
method for election officials to confirm identity and 
eligibility. It will deter fraud and reduce the incidence of 
double voting and voting in the name of another. Most states do 
not currently require a photo identification to vote in federal 
elections.\1\ The absence of this basic protection in so many 
states leaves our elections susceptible to fraud. H.R. 4844 
seeks to address this problem by requiring all persons casting 
ballots in elections for Federal office to present a current 
and valid government issued photo identification.
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    \1\ Only six States, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Hawaii, Louisiana 
and South Dakota, require individuals to show photo identification 
before casting a ballot while 18 other States require a photo or some 
other acceptable form of identification to be shown at the polls in all 
elections. The remaining 26 states only require an identification to be 
presented for first time voters who register by mail. Of the 26 States, 
Kansas and Pennsylvania require photo and non-photo identification for 
all first time voters, not just the ones that had registered by mail. 
See electionline.org, available at http://www.electionline.org/
Default.aspx?tabid=364.
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    Since the enactment of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 
\2\ (HAVA) election officials have strived to create an 
election system that expands access for all eligible voters and 
protects the integrity of the ballot. HAVA imposed an 
identification requirement, but limited it to first time voters 
who register by mail. The clear intent of this provision was to 
ensure that people who did not register in person would at some 
point be obligated to demonstrate, before voting, that they are 
in fact a real live human being who is eligible to vote.\3\ 
This demonstration could be made by production of any one of a 
number of different forms of identification or documentation 
that would show who the person was, or production of 
information that would allow an election official to verify 
identity.\4\ Important as it is, this provision still imposes 
no identification requirement whatsoever on most voters. Even 
more problematic, some states have interpreted it to not apply 
to registrations that are hand delivered instead of being 
mailed, thereby continuing to allow votes to be cast by persons 
who have never presented themselves in person or provided any 
identification or documentation necessary to confirm 
eligibility. Testimony of Dan Bryant in Las Cruces revealed 
this is the practice in New Mexico.
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    \2\ Pub. L. No. 107-252, 116 Stat. 1666, 42 U.S.C. 15301 to 15545 
(2002).
    \3\ During the HAVA debate, Senator Kit Bond famously advised 
members of a dog that had been on the voter rolls for several years 
under the name Ritzy Mekler. Senator Bond, presented Ritzy Mekler's 
voter registration information to demonstrate how lax registration 
requirements can allow even non-persons to register and vote. See floor 
statement February 26, 2002. a
    \4\ Pursuant to section 303(b)(2) of HAVA, only those first-time 
voters registering by mail are required to present one of the following 
forms of identification before casting a ballot: (1) current and valid 
photo identification, (2) current utility bill, (3) current bank 
statement, (4) government check, (5) paycheck, (6) other government 
document that shows the name and address of the vote. Individuals who 
register to vote by mail under section 6 of the National Voter 
Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4) and submit with his or 
her registration either a driver's license number or at least the last 
4 digits of their social security number are exempt from the 
requirement to provide one of the 6 forms of acceptable HAVA 
identification at the polls. See Section 303(b)(3)(B)(1).
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    The vast majority of the voting public is already in 
possession of the ID that will be required under the 
legislation for the general election in November 2008.\5\ For 
the small percentage of the voting public not currently in 
possession of the necessary ID, the bill gives them two full 
years to acquire it. It obligates states to set up programs to 
distribute ID's to those who need them, and requires that they 
be given free to those who cannot afford them. Federal funds 
are authorized to reimburse states for the cost of distributing 
these free ID's.
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    \5\ See ``The Impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 
on the Administration of Elections for Federal Office, 1995-1996,'' 
Federal Elections Commission, page 5-6 (stating approximately 87 
percent of persons 18 years and older have acquired a driver's 
license); see also Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform 
Building Confidence in U.S. Elections, September 2005, FN 22 citing a 
U.S. Department of Transportation study: ``A comparison of driver's 
license records and census data for 2003 suggests that about 88 percent 
of Americans aged 18 and over have a driver's license, see U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Licensed 
Total Drivers, By Age, 2003, Table DL-22, Oct. 2004, at 
www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs03/htm/dl22.htm, and U.S. Census Bureau, 
Annual Estimates of the Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for 
the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004, (June 2005), 
available at www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2004-sa.html.
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    Commencing in 2010 and for all elections thereafter, voters 
will be required to present an ID that they could not have 
obtained without proving that they are citizens. The Congress 
has already determined, by its passage of the REAL ID Act of 
2005 \6\ that States must verify the legal status of applicants 
before issuing an ID to them. REAL ID compliant identification 
will be required if citizens want to use the ID for any of a 
number of defined Federal purposes such as boarding an airplane 
or entering a government building.\7\ The implementation 
deadline for the REAL ID Act is May 11, 2008. H.R. 4844 intends 
that citizens will be able to use their newly acquired REAL 
ID's to vote in elections beginning 2010. As non-citizens will 
be able to acquire REAL ID's, H.R. 4844 requires the ID contain 
some marking or other indicia that will show the bearer is a 
citizen. Individuals who arrive at the polls without the 
required identification will be permitted to cast a provisional 
ballot, which can be counted if the individual presents the 
appropriate election official with a qualifying identification 
within 48 hours.
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    \6\ Pub. L. No. 109-13, 49 U.S.C. Section 30301.
    \7\ Division B-Real ID Act of 2005, Title II, Section 201 states 
REAL IDs are to be used not only for the purpose of operating a motor 
vehicle but for ``accessing Federal facilities, boarding federally 
regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants, and any 
other purposes that the Secretary shall determine''.
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    Requiring photo identification for voting has been endorsed 
by a high profile bi-partisan election reform Commission. The 
Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, in its 
report ``Building Confidence in U.S. Elections'' recommended a 
national standard for voter identification based on the REAL ID 
card or an equivalent for people without a driver's license to 
enhance ballot security. The Commission recommendation for a 
uniform identification requirement was motivated by a concern 
that differing requirements from state-to-state (or even voter-
to-voter) could impede voting by unequal or discriminatory 
application of varied requirements. The Commission reasoned 
that the use of REAL ID cards for voting purposes could 
eliminate voting impediments and ensure fair and equal 
treatment to all voters.
    A single, uniform ID requirement will reduce the incidence 
of selective or discriminatory application. It will actually 
guard against discriminatory practices as those who possess the 
ID will be able to present it with confidence that it will 
prove their identity and eligibility. Civil rights leader 
Andrew Young has recognized the empowering nature of such an 
ID.\8\ Former President Jimmy Cater and Former Secretary of 
State James Baker also acknowledged the benefits of a uniform 
identification requirement.\9\
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    \8\ In his editorial, Young stated in relevant part: ``At the end 
of the day, a photo ID is a true weapon against the bondages of 
poverty. Anyone driving through a low-income neighborhood sees the 
ubiquitous check-cashing storefronts, which thrive because other 
establishments, such as supermarkets and banks, won't cash checks 
without a standard photo ID. Why not enfranchise the 12 percent of 
Americans who don't have drivers' licenses or government-issued photo 
IDs?'' Andrew Young, ``Voter IDs Only Part of Elections Solution'', 
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, September 30, 2005 at A15.
    \9\ ``Our concern was that the differing requirements from state-
to-state could be a source of discrimination, and so we recommended a 
standard for the entire country, the Real ID card, the standardized 
driver's licenses mandated by federal law last May. With that law, a 
driver's license can double as a voting card. All but three of our 21 
commission members accepted the proposal, in part because the choice 
was no longer whether to have voter IDs, but rather what kind of IDs 
voters should have.'' See Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker, ``Voting 
Reform Is in the Cards'', NEW YORK TIMES, at pg. A19
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    A Federally mandated photo identification requirement 
provides a basic and crucial protection against voter fraud. 
During hearings conducted by the Committee on House 
Administration, witnesses cited many instances of fraudulent 
registration and voting in our country.
    Daniel A. Bryant, attorney for Otero County, New Mexico, 
testified in Las Cruces New Mexico about a woman named Vada 
Hart who had not voted for years, only to discover that someone 
had been voting in her name--thereby not only stealing her vote 
but also illegally negating the vote of an eligible 
citizen.\10\ Other testimony presented to the Committee 
revealed that a registered voter in New Mexico was not 
permitted to cast a ballot in the 2004 elections because 
records showed that someone had already voted in his place.\11\
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    \10\ Mr. Bryant presented a verified statement from Ms. Hart's son 
and daughter in-law attesting that she has not voted in any election 
since 1996 due to her physical and mental state. An investigative 
hearing on July 22, in Dona Ana Complex revealed that Ms. Hart's voter 
card showed that someone had voted in her name several times since 
1996.
    \11\ Testimony of Patrick Rogers, Committee on House 
Administration, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing on Non-Citizen 
voting, June 22, 2006 http/cha.house.gov/hearings/testimony.aspx?TID-
896
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    Votes cast in the name of deceased individuals across the 
country in federal and local elections demonstrate the need for 
a photo identification requirement. In Maryland, computer 
science students at Johns Hopkins University learned through 
their voter registration database research that Baltimore 
City's voter rolls revealed ``1,500 dead people listed as 
active registered voters. Fifty of those dead people somehow 
voted in the [2004] election.'' After further investigation by 
the Baltimore City Paper, at least 26 of the 50 names reported 
were confirmed ``dead voters''. In Georgia, an audit of its 
voter registration rolls showed that 5,412 votes had been cast 
by deceased voters.\12\ Another investigation on voting 
irregularities administered in Wisconsin by a joint Task Force 
comprised of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Milwaukee Police 
Department, Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office and the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed over 300 accounts of 
illegal voting, which included more than 100 votes cast by 
individuals voting twice, individuals using false names and 
names of deceased individuals.\13\ Also significant was 
evidence of 4,500 more votes cast in the City of Milwaukee than 
individuals recorded as voting.\14\ The Milwaukee Journal 
Sentinel, in reporting the Task Force's findings, indicated 
that photo identification could have prevented some of the 
incidents of voter fraud that occurred.\15\
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    \12\ ``Even Death Can't Stop Some Voters-Records: Illegally Cast 
Ballots Are Not Rare.'' THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION, November 6, 
2000.
    \13\ Greg J. Borowski ``Inquiry Finds Evidence of Fraud in 
Election,'' MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, May 11, 2005, available at 
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/electionfraud.pdf.
    \14\ Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform Building 
Confidence in U.S. Elections at pg. 4 (citing Preliminary Findings of 
Joint Task Force Investigating Possible Election Fraud. May 10, 2005. 
Available at http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/electionfraud.pdf.)
    \15\ Id.
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    Most recently, evidence of illegal voting was discovered 
during the gubernatorial election and recount that occurred in 
the State of Washington between Christine Gregorie and Dino 
Rossi. In this case, there were many reports of fraudulent 
votes cast. For example, in King County, Washington, it was 
reported that at least eight people who died before the 
November elections in 2004 had cast ballots on Election Day for 
the Governor's race. Specifically, in the election contest that 
ensued, the Chelan County Superior Court determined there were 
a total of 1678 illegal votes cast in the 2004 general 
election.\16\ The race was decided by a 133 vote margin. Judge 
Bridges determined that although the number of illegal votes 
cast in this race clearly exceeded the margin of victory, the 
results of the election could not have been set aside.\17\
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    \16\ Of the total 1,687 illegal votes cast; 1,401 were cast by 
illegal felons, 19 votes were cast by deceased voters, 6 votes were 
cast by double voting, and 252 votes were cast by unregistered 
voters.'' See generally, Transcript Of Decision By Chelan County 
Superior Court Judge John Bridges, June 6, 2005.
    \17\ From the decision ``The Court concludes further that no matter 
the number of illegal votes, whether they total 1,678, as determined by 
this Court, or 2,820, as argued by petitioners in their closing, this 
election may not be set aside merely because the number of illegal or 
invalid votes exceed the margin of victory, because the election 
contest statute requires the contestant to show that the illegal votes 
or misconduct changed the election's result.'' Id.
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    Given the increasing number of non-citizens illegally 
residing in the country, illegal voting by non-citizens is 
further cause for concern. The non-citizen population in the 
United States is growing at an unprecedented rate. Census 
Bureau data shows that the nation's foreign-born or immigrant 
population (legal and illegal) reached 35 million in March of 
2005. The data also indicate that the first half of this decade 
has been the highest five-year period of immigration in 
American history. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 8.7 million 
illegal aliens were in the U.S. in 2000. Immigration officials 
estimate that the illegal alien population grows by as many as 
500,000 every year. These non-citizen population growth rates 
increase the potential for non-citizens to exploit and 
manipulate the outcome of elections.
    In 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
Responsibility Act was enacted, making it a federal crime for 
non-citizens to vote in any federal election. Enforcement of 
the statute is hampered by the difficulty involved in detecting 
violations. As no proof of citizenship is required prior to 
voting, violations by persons falsely presenting themselves as 
citizens can go unnoticed. Even when evidence of a violation 
presents itself, finding the perpetrators and gathering 
sufficient evidence to prosecute them is very difficult.
    Despite the law that prohibits it, documented reports of 
non-citizen voting have increased. During the June 22, hearing 
before this Committee, Dan Stein, President of the Federation 
for American Immigration Reform, presented the following 
documented cases of illegal voting: (1) In the 2000 election, 
``election observers reported that a `sizable number' of votes 
may have been cast by ineligible felons, illegal immigrants, 
and non-citizens'' in Florida; (3) In Utah, Legislative Auditor 
General John Schaff said in a February 8, 2005 report to the 
President of the Utah Senate that more than 58,000 illegal 
immigrants had Utah drivers' licenses, nearly 400 of them used 
their license to register to vote in Utah, and a sampling of 
that group revealed at least 14 actually voted in an election; 
and (4) Hawaiian Election officials found 543 Oahu residents 
who were not U.S. citizens had registered to vote. Moreover, an 
investigation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
into alleged fraud in a 1996 Orange County, California 
congressional race revealed that non-citizens were registered 
to vote in the 46th Congressional District in the disputed 
election between Republican Robert Dornan and Democrat Loretta 
Sanchez. The Task Force established by the Committee on House 
Oversight found clear and convincing evidence that 748 invalid 
votes were cast in that election.\18\ Further, state officials 
found that over 300 non-citizens illegally voted in that 
contest. These figures did not exceed the margin of victory, 
but they clearly demonstrate this problem is real and can 
impact the outcome in a close election.
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    \18\ U.S. House of Representatives Report 105-416 ``Dismissing the 
Election Contest Against Loretta Sanchez'' 105th Congress 2d Session, 
February 12, 1998.
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    Patrick Rogers, a New Mexico attorney, proffered compelling 
examples of illegal and fraudulent voting at the Committee's 
hearing on June 22, 2006. In support of this testimony, Mr. 
Rogers presented to the Committee the voter identification card 
of a woman holding a green card, who claimed she was pressured 
to register while standing in line to receive government 
services. Mr. Rogers also provided the Committee with several 
documented examples of illegal voting by non-citizens in the 
United States as follows:
          (1) In Maryland, a 2006 e-mail from a member of the 
        Montgomery County Board of Elections in Montgomery 
        County, Maryland was made public indicating he was 
        going to register people to vote ``regardless of 
        status.'' (2) Donna Hope, a non-citizen immigrant from 
        Barbados who resides in Philadelphia, was told by a 
        representative of the voter registration group ``Voting 
        is Power,'' the voter mobilization arm of the Muslim 
        American Society, that she could register to vote if 
        she has been in the United States at least 7 years. Ms. 
        Hope completed the registration form and was added to 
        the voting rolls. In November of 2004, Ms. Hope did not 
        vote because she was not a citizen, but someone 
        illegally cast a ballot in her name. (3) In 1998, 
        California Secretary of State Bill Jones referred to 
        the INS claims by nearly 450 people called for jury 
        duty in Orange County, California who claimed they were 
        exempt from jury duty because they were non-citizens. 
        The jury duty lists are pulled from driver's license 
        and registered voter files.
    The Committee's field briefing in Arizona also revealed 
accounts of voter fraud perpetrated by non-citizens. The 
Honorable Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County Attorney, advised the 
Committee of indictments of ten individuals who were non-
citizens who nevertheless registered to vote. His testimony 
states in relevant part:

    They were charged with filing false documents, a class 6 
felony. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell referred these 
matters to the County Attorney's Office after her office 
received jury questionnaire forms from the county jury 
commissioner. These forms were filled out by potential jurors 
who claimed they were unable to serve on a jury because they 
were not citizens. The county recorder's office found that they 
had claimed to be citizens when they filled out a voter 
registration form. Four of these defendants voted in at least 
one election. In addition to the ten charged defendants, the 
County Attorney is reviewing 149 other cases in which non-
citizens have allegedly illegally registered to vote.
    The county recorder has received inquiries from people 
seeking to become U.S. citizens who have been told by 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain a letter from her 
office confirming they have neither registered to vote nor 
voted. To date, a review of these matters has turned up 37 non-
citizens who have registered to vote. Fifteen of these 
individuals have voted. And these numbers come from a 
relatively small universe of individuals--legal immigrants who 
seek to become citizens. These numbers do not tell us how many 
illegal immigrants have registered and voted.

    The United States Department of Justice has also 
investigated and prosecuted several cases of non-citizen 
voting.\19\ In Colorado, U.S. Attorneys convicted an individual 
of providing false information concerning U.S. citizenship for 
voter registration purposes.\20\ In Alaska, a non-citizen was 
charged and found guilty of voting in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 
elections in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 611.\21\ 
Additionally, 15 non-citizens were charged and 10 were 
convicted of voting in Federal elections conducted in counties 
located in South Florida.\22\
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    \19\ Election Fraud Prosecutions & Convictions Ballot Access & 
Voting Integrity Initiative, Criminal Division, Public Integrity 
Division, United States Department of Justice, October 2002-September 
2005.
    \20\ Id., United States v. Shah, Case No. 04-CR-00458.
    \21\ Id., United States v. Rogelio Mejorada-Lopez, Case No. 05-CR-
074.
    \22\ Id., United States v. McKenzie, Case No. 04-CR-60160; United 
States v. Francois, No. 04-CR-60159; United States v. Exavier, No. 04-
CR-60161; United States v. Lloyd Palmer, No. 04-CR-60159; United States 
v. Velrine Palmer, No. 04-CR-60162; United States v. Shivdayal, No. 04-
CR-60164; United States v. Rickman, No. 04-CR-20491; United States v. 
Knight, No. 04-CR-20490; United States v. Sweeting, No. 04-CR-20489; 
United States v. Lubin, No. 04-CR-60163; United States v. Bennett, No. 
04-CR-14048; United States v. O'Neil, No. 04-CR-60165; United States v. 
Torres-Perez, No. 04-CR-14046; United States v. Phillip, No. 04-CR-
80103; United States v. Bain Knight, No. 04-CR-14047.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While these examples demonstrate the need for additional 
protections to ensure only citizens are voting, the facts also 
reveal that eligible citizens are able to prove their 
eligibility and are not dissuaded from voting if required to do 
so. States that have implemented an identification requirement 
for voting have experienced positive results. At the 
Committee's field briefing in Arizona, Secretary of State Jan 
Brewer discussed the effects of the newly enacted 
identification law known as Proposition 200. Under Proposition 
200, all voters are required to present identification at the 
polls before casting a ballot and all new voter registration 
applications must be accompanied by sufficient proof of 
citizenship. While identification is required in all Arizona 
jurisdictions, 15 jurisdictions have successfully implemented a 
proof of citizenship requirement. Secretary Brewer testified 
that Arizona has experienced a 15.4 percent increase in voter 
registration since the requirements of Proposition 200 went 
into effect. Other studies recently conducted also demonstrate 
that implementation of anti-fraud measures can increase, not 
decrease, voter turnout.\23\ Moreover, in more than 100 
democracies across the world, voters routinely present photo 
IDs in elections without any apprehension of being 
disenfranchised.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\ See generally, John R. Lott, Jr., ``Evidence of Voter Fraud 
and the Impact that Regulations to Reduce Fraud Have on Voter 
Participation Rates.'' August 2006, available at http://ssrn.com/
abstract=925611.
    \24\ Report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, Building 
Confidence in U.S. Elections, at pg. 4. See also, FN 5 ``The following 
democracies constitute some of the nearly 100 countries that utilize a 
national ID system: Belgium, Cost Rica, Germany, India, Italy, the 
Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. See Privacy.org, 
``dentity Cards: FAQ,'' August 24, 1996, available at http://
www.privacy.org/pi/activities/idcard/idcard--faq.html''.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Currently, state and local governments do not have any 
effective way to prevent non-citizens from registering to vote 
and voting. Section 303(b)(4)(A) of HAVA requires inclusion of 
a citizenship box on the National Voter Registration Form. When 
applying to register to vote, individuals must check the box 
affirming their citizenship. The law provides that registration 
forms that do not have the box checked should be rejected and 
returned to the individual. However, some states are not 
enforcing this requirement. Even in states that do enforce the 
citizenship requirement, it is still done on an honor system 
that relies on the truthful response of the registrant. While 
the present state of the law leaves the system open to abuse, 
H.R. 4844's identification and proof of citizenship requirement 
will ensure that only eligible citizens are voting.
    While there may be disputes about the nature and extent of 
voter fraud, there can be no dispute that it occurs. In close 
elections, even a small amount of fraud can affect the outcome. 
More importantly, reports of fraud can cause people to lose 
confidence in the integrity of the system and thereby 
discourage participation. People must be encouraged to vote 
with confidence that their vote will be counted and will not be 
cancelled out by an illegal vote.
    Furthermore, the very lack of any photo identification 
requirement in most states makes it difficult to accurately 
assess the size of the problem. Persons voting in the name of 
another may do so now without ever having to identify 
themselves, so their criminal acts can be committed without 
detection and with little fear of prosecution.
    Showing proof of identification and citizenship is 
warranted and commonplace in today's society. Individuals are 
required to have photo identification to engage in routine 
activities such as boarding an airplane, entering a government 
building, purchasing cigarettes and cashing a check. Our voting 
system deserves at least as much protection as these other 
activities. H.R. 4844 offers these identification requirements 
to protect the fundamental right to vote, to build confidence 
in our voting system, encourage voter participation and ensure 
all individuals that when they cast a ballot, their vote will 
not be diluted by an illegal vote.

                       Summary of the Legislation


Section 1.--Short title: ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006''

Section 2.--Requiring voters to provide photo identification

           Amends section 303(b) of the Help America 
        Vote Act of 2002, (HAVA) by requiring voters to show a 
        government-issued current and valid photo 
        identification before casting a ballot for the 2008 
        general elections for Federal office.
    Currently under HAVA, only first time voters who registered 
by mail are required to show one of seven acceptable forms of 
identification prior to voting. Section 2 amends the 
identification provision contained in HAVA by requiring all 
voters to show identification, and making a current and valid 
government issued photo identification the only acceptable 
form.
           Amends section 303(b) of the Help America 
        Vote Act of 2002, (HAVA) by requiring voters to show a 
        current and valid photo identification for which the 
        individual was required to provide proof of United 
        States citizenship as a condition for issuance 
        effective for the 2010 general elections for federal 
        office and each subsequent Federal election.This 
provision further strengthens ballot security by adding a proof of 
citizenship requirement, and requiring that photo identification 
contain some indicia of citizenship. The REAL ID Act of 2005, (Pub. L. 
No. 109-13) will have to be implemented by States in May 2008. This 
provision allows voters to use the identification they will obtain 
through the REAL ID process to vote. Voters must show photo 
identification that affirms citizenship before casting a ballot at the 
polls for the 2010 federal elections and all subsequent federal 
elections. This identification requirement provides election officials 
with a mechanism to protect and secure the franchise of all United 
States citizens against ballots being cast illegally by non-citizens 
and other ineligible voters.
           Permits individuals that are unable to 
        produce identification at the polls to cast a 
        provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot 
        to count, the voter must present qualifying 
        identification to an election official within 48 hours 
        of casting their provisional ballot.
    This provision allows individuals who arrive at the polls 
without the required photo identification the opportunity to 
vote by provisional ballot. Presently, HAVA requires that 
states provide individuals with the opportunity to cast a 
provisional ballot if the voter believes he or she is 
registered and eligible to vote in their election district but 
their name does not appear on the voter rolls. This provision 
will ensure that no voter is disenfranchised or turned away at 
the polls on Election Day for failure to produce the necessary 
identification and allow their vote to count if they present to 
the appropriate election official the identification necessary 
to prove eligibility within 48 hours.
           Amends section 303(b) of the Help America 
        Vote Act of 2002, (HAVA) by requiring individuals who 
        do not vote in person to submit with the ballot for the 
        2008 general elections for Federal office a copy of a 
        government-issued current, and valid photo 
        identification. For the 2010 general elections for 
        federal office and each subsequent election for Federal 
        office, individuals who do not vote in person must 
        submit with the ballot a copy of a government-issued 
        current and valid photo identification that affirms 
        citizenship.
    This provision extends the same photo identification 
requirements to individuals that vote in person to individuals 
that vote by mail. The current law requires only first time 
voters who registered by mail to provide one of the seven forms 
of identification acceptable under HAVA with the ballot. This 
provision will ensure equal treatment to voters whether ballots 
are cast in-person or by mail.
           Provides an exemption for overseas military 
        voters who qualify as absent uniformed service voters 
        that are eligible to cast absentee ballots by reason of 
        active duty or service and are absent from the United 
        States on Election Day.
    This provision conforms to section 107(1) of the Uniformed 
and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-
6(1)).

Section 3.--Making photo identification available

           Requires states to establish a program to 
        provide photo identification to individuals in 
        accordance with the photo identification requirement 
        contained in H.R. 4844. For those individuals who do 
        not possess photo identification and cannot afford to 
        obtain one, states will provide photo identification to 
        them at no cost.
    This provision ensures that all individuals have the 
opportunity to obtain the required government issued photo 
identification. First, it requires states to establish a 
program to provide government-issued photo identification to 
all individuals who do not possess photo identification that 
satisfies H.R. 4844. Second, it requires states to provide 
government-issued photo identification to all indigent 
individuals who do not possess or have means to obtain 
identification.
           Adds a new section to the Help America Vote 
        Act of 2002, (HAVA) that requires the Election 
        Assistance Commission to provide funding to cover state 
        incurred costs for providing qualifying government-
        issued photo identification to indigent individuals. 
        Authorizes federal funds to reimburse states for the 
        cost of distributing the identifications.

               Committee Consideration of the Legislation


       INTRODUCTION, REFERRAL, MARKUP, AND VOTES OF THE COMMITTEE

    On March 2, 2006, Mr. Hyde introduced H.R. 4844, the 
``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006,'' which was referred 
to the Committee on House Administration. The Committee on 
House Administration held a markup of H.R. 4844 on September 
14, 2006. Members present: Mr. Ehlers, Mr. Mica, Mr. Doolittle, 
Mrs. Miller, Ms. Millender-McDonald, Mr. Brady, and Ms. 
Lofgren. The Committee favorably reported H.R. 4844 by a record 
vote of 4-3, with a quorum being present.
    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following statements are made 
concerning the votes of the Committee on House Administration 
in its consideration of the bill, H.R. 4844.

                       MOTION TO REPORT THE BILL

    The bill, H.R. 4844, as amended, was ordered favorably 
reported by a rollcall vote of 4 yeas to 3 nays (with a quorum 
being present). The vote was as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Representatives            Yea       Nay      Present    Representatives      Yea       Nay     Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Ehlers....................        X   .........  .........  Ms. Millender-     ........        X   .........
                                                                 McDonald.
Mr. Ney.......................  ........  .........  .........  Mr. Brady........  ........        X   .........
Mr. Mica......................        X   .........  .........  Ms. Lofgren......  ........        X   .........
Mr. Doolittle.................        X   .........  .........  .................  ........  ........  .........
Mr. Reynolds..................  ........  .........  .........  .................  ........  ........  .........
Mrs. Miller...................        X   .........  .........  .................  ........  ........
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

         VOTE ON EHLERS AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE

    A rollcall vote was conducted on the Chairman's amendment 
in the nature of a substitute. The amendment passed by a 
rollcall vote of 4 yeas to 3 nays. The vote was as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Representatives             Yea       Nay     Present    Representatives      Yea       Nay     Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Ehlers.....................        X   ........  .........  Ms. Millender-     ........        X   .........
                                                                 McDonald.
Mr. Ney........................  ........  ........  .........  Mr. Brady........  ........        X   .........
Mr. Mica.......................        X   ........  .........  Ms. Lofgren......  ........        X   .........
Mr. Doolittle..................        X   ........
Mr. Reynolds...................  ........  ........
Mrs. Miller....................        X   ........
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       VOTE ON LOFGREN AMENDMENT

    A rollcall vote was conducted on the following amendment to 
the Chairman's amendment in the nature of a substitute.
    An amendment by Ms. Lofgren, to delay implementation of the 
identification requirements until a study could be completed on 
the anticipated effects of implementation of the program on 
certain populations, was defeated by a rollcall vote of 3 yeas 
to 4 nays. The vote was as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Representatives             Yea       Nay     Present    Representatives      Yea       Nay     Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Ehlers.....................  ........        X   .........  Ms. Millender-           X   ........  .........
                                                                 McDonald.
Mr. Ney........................  ........  ........  .........  Mr. Brady........        X   ........  .........
Mr. Mica.......................  ........        X   .........  Ms. Lofgren......        X   ........  .........
Mr. Doolittle..................  ........        X
Mr. Reynolds...................  ........  ........
Mrs. Miller....................  ........        X
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  VOTE ON MILLENDER-MCDONALD AMENDMENT

    A rollcall vote was conducted on the following amendment to 
the Chairman's amendment in the nature of a substitute.
    An amendment by Ms. Millender-McDonald, to set standards 
for provisional ballots, to assess penalties for voter 
suppression, and to implement alternative methods for fraud 
prevention, was defeated by a rollcall vote of 3 yeas to 4 
nays. The vote was as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Representatives             Yea       Nay     Present    Representatives      Yea       Nay     Present
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Ehlers.....................  ........        X   .........  Ms. Millender-           X   ........  .........
                                                                 McDonald.
Mr. Ney........................  ........  ........  .........  Mr. Brady........        X   ........  .........
Mr. Mica.......................  ........        X   .........  Ms. Lofgren......        X   ........  .........
Mr. Doolittle..................  ........        X
Mr. Reynolds...................  ........  ........
Mrs. Miller....................  ........        X
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee states that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
House of Representatives, are incorporated in the descriptive 
portions of this report.

                General Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states, with respect to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, that 
the goal and objective of H.R. 4844 is to protect the franchise 
and reduce the opportunities for, and incidence of, vote fraud.

                        Constitutional Authority

    In compliance with clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII, the 
Committee states that Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. 
Constitution grants Congress the authority to make law 
governing the time, place and manner of holding federal 
elections.

                            Federal Mandates

    The Committee states, with respect to section 423 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, that the bill obligates 
States to establish a program to make available photo 
identification to individuals, including that it be at no cost 
to indigent individuals.

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a committee statement on the extent to 
which the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state 
or local law. The Committee states that the identification 
requirement will apply in all States and preempt laws to the 
contrary.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Help America 
Vote Act of 2002''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *

                          TITLE II--COMMISSION

     * * * * * * *

                     Subtitle D--Election Assistance

                      Part 1--Requirements Payments

Sec. 251. Requirements payments.
     * * * * * * *

 Part 7--Payments to Cover Costs of Providing Photo Identifications to 
                          Indigent Individuals

Sec. 297. Payments to cover costs to States of providing photo 
          identifications for voting to indigent individuals.
Sec. 297A. Authorization of appropriations.
     * * * * * * *

    TITLE III--UNIFORM AND NONDISCRIMINATORY ELECTION TECHNOLOGY AND 
                       ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

                        Subtitle A--Requirements

     * * * * * * *
[Sec. 303. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements 
          and requirements for voters who register by mail.]
Sec. 303. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements 
          and requirements for providing photo identification.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE II--COMMISSION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle D--Election Assistance

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 PART 7--PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS OF PROVIDING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS TO 
                          INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS

SEC. 297. PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS TO STATES OF PROVIDING PHOTO 
                    IDENTIFICATIONS FOR VOTING TO INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS.

  (a) Payments to States.--The Commission shall make payments 
to States to cover the costs incurred in providing photo 
identifications under the program established under section 
303(b)(4) to individuals who are unable to afford the fee that 
would otherwise be charged under the program.
  (b) Amount of Payment.--The amount of the payment made to a 
State under this part for any year shall be equal to the amount 
of fees which would have been collected by the State during the 
year under the program established under section 303(b)(4) but 
for the application of section 303(b)(4)(B)(ii), as determined 
on the basis of information furnished to the Commission by the 
State at such time and in such form as the Commission may 
require.

SEC. 297A. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated for payments under 
this part such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008 
and each succeeding fiscal year.

   TITLE III--UNIFORM AND NONDISCRIMINATORY ELECTION TECHNOLOGY AND 
                      ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Subtitle A--Requirements

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 303. COMPUTERIZED STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION LIST REQUIREMENTS 
                    AND REQUIREMENTS [FOR VOTERS WHO REGISTER BY MAIL] 
                    FOR PROVIDING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.

  (a)  * * *
  (b) Requirements [for Voters Who Register by Mail] for 
Providing Photo Identification.--
          [(1) In general.--Notwithstanding section 6(c) of the 
        National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 
        1973gg-4(c)) and subject to paragraph (3), a State 
        shall, in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner, 
        require an individual to meet the requirements of 
        paragraph (2) if--
                  [(A) the individual registered to vote in a 
                jurisdiction by mail; and
                  [(B)(i) the individual has not previously 
                voted in an election for Federal office in the 
                State; or
                  [(ii) the individual has not previously voted 
                in such an election in the jurisdiction and the 
                jurisdiction is located in a State that does 
                not have a computerized list that complies with 
                the requirements of subsection (a).
          [(2) Requirements.--
                  [(A) In general.--An individual meets the 
                requirements of this paragraph if the 
                individual--
                          [(i) in the case of an individual who 
                        votes in person--
                                  [(I) presents to the 
                                appropriate State or local 
                                election official a current and 
                                valid photo identification; or
                                  [(II) presents to the 
                                appropriate State or local 
                                election official a copy of a 
                                current utility bill, bank 
                                statement, government check, 
                                paycheck, or other government 
                                document that shows the name 
                                and address of the voter; or
                          [(ii) in the case of an individual 
                        who votes by mail, submits with the 
                        ballot--
                                  [(I) a copy of a current and 
                                valid photo identification; or
                                  [(II) a copy of a current 
                                utility bill, bank statement, 
                                government check, paycheck, or 
                                other government document that 
                                shows the name and address of 
                                the voter.
                  [(B) Fail-safe voting.--
                          [(i) In person.--An individual who 
                        desires to vote in person, but who does 
                        not meet the requirements of 
                        subparagraph (A)(i), may cast a 
                        provisional ballot under section 
                        302(a).
                          [(ii) By mail.--An individual who 
                        desires to vote by mail but who does 
                        not meet the requirements of 
                        subparagraph (A)(ii) may cast such a 
                        ballot by mail and the ballot shall be 
                        counted as a provisional ballot in 
                        accordance with section 302(a).
          [(3) Inapplicability.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply 
        in the case of a person--
                  [(A) who registers to vote by mail under 
                section 6 of the National Voter Registration 
                Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4) and submits as 
                part of such registration either--
                          [(i) a copy of a current and valid 
                        photo identification; or
                          [(ii) a copy of a current utility 
                        bill, bank statement, government check, 
                        paycheck, or government document that 
                        shows the name and address of the 
                        voter;
                  [(B)(i) who registers to vote by mail under 
                section 6 of the National Voter Registration 
                Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4) and submits 
                with such registration either--
                          [(I) a driver's license number; or
                          [(II) at least the last 4 digits of 
                        the individual's social security 
                        number; and
                  [(ii) with respect to whom a State or local 
                election official matches the information 
                submitted under clause (i) with an existing 
                State identification record bearing the same 
                number, name and date of birth as provided in 
                such registration; or
                  [(C) who is--
                          [(i) entitled to vote by absentee 
                        ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas 
                        Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 
                        1973ff-1 et seq.);
                          [(ii) provided the right to vote 
                        otherwise than in person under section 
                        3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting 
                        Accessibility for the Elderly and 
                        Handicapped Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ee-
                        1(b)(2)(B)(ii)); or
                          [(iii) entitled to vote otherwise 
                        than in person under any other Federal 
                        law.]
          (1) Individuals voting in person.--
                  (A) Requirement to provide identification.--
                Notwithstanding any other provision of law and 
                except as provided in subparagraph (B), the 
                appropriate State or local election official 
                may not provide a ballot for an election for 
                Federal office to an individual who desires to 
                vote in person unless the individual presents 
                to the official--
                          (i) a government-issued, current, and 
                        valid photo identification; or
                          (ii) in the case of the regularly 
                        scheduled general election for Federal 
                        office held in November 2010 and each 
                        subsequent election for Federal office, 
                        a government-issued, current, and valid 
                        photo identification for which the 
                        individual was required to provide 
                        proof of United States citizenship as a 
                        condition for the issuance of the 
                        identification.
                  (B) Availability of provisional ballot.--If 
                an individual does not present the 
                identification required under subparagraph (A), 
                the individual shall be permitted to cast a 
                provisional ballot with respect to the election 
                under section 302(a), except that the 
                appropriate State or local election official 
                may not make a determination under section 
                302(a)(4) that the individual is eligible under 
                State law to vote in the election unless the 
                individual presents the identification required 
                under subparagraph (A) to the official not 
                later than 48 hours after casting the 
                provisional ballot.
          (2) Individuals voting other than in person.--
                  (A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                provision of law and except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), the appropriate State or 
                local election official may not accept any 
                ballot for an election for Federal office 
                provided by an individual who votes other than 
                in person unless the individual submits with 
                the ballot--
                          (i) a copy of a government-issued, 
                        current, and valid photo 
                        identification; or
                          (ii) in the case of the regularly 
                        scheduled general election for Federal 
                        office held in November 2010 and each 
                        subsequent election for Federal office, 
                        a copy of a government-issued, current, 
                        and valid photo identification for 
                        which the individual was required to 
                        provide proof of United States 
                        citizenship as a condition for the 
                        issuance of the identification.
                  (B) Exception for overseas military voters.--
                Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to 
                a ballot provided by an absent uniformed 
                services voter who, by reason of active duty or 
                service, is absent from the United States on 
                the date of the election involved. In this 
                subparagraph, the term ``absent uniformed 
                services voter'' has the meaning given such 
                term in section 107(1) of the Uniformed and 
                Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 
                U.S.C. 1973ff--6(1)), other than an individual 
                described in section 107(1)(C) of such Act.
          (3) Specific requirements for identifications.--For 
        purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2)--
                  (A) an identification is ``government-
                issued'' if it is issued by the Federal 
                Government or by the government of a State; and
                  (B) an identification is one for which an 
                individual was required to provide proof of 
                United States citizenship as a condition for 
                issuance if the identification displays an 
                official marking or other indication that the 
                individual is a United States citizen.
          (4) Making photo identifications available.--
                  (A) In general.--During fiscal year 2008 and 
                each succeeding fiscal year, each State shall 
                establish a program to provide photo 
                identifications which may be used to meet the 
                requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) by 
                individuals who desire to vote in elections 
                held in the State but who do not otherwise 
                possess a government-issued photo 
                identification.
                  (B) Identifications provided at no cost to 
                indigent individuals.--If a State charges an 
                individual a fee for providing a photo 
                identification under the program established 
                under subparagraph (A)--
                          (i) the fee charged may not exceed 
                        the reasonable cost to the State of 
                        providing the identification to the 
                        individual; and
                          (ii) the State may not charge a fee 
                        to any individual who provides an 
                        attestation that the individual is 
                        unable to afford the fee.
                  (C) Identifications not to be used for other 
                purposes.--Any photo identification provided 
                under the program established under 
                subparagraph (A) may not serve as a government-
                issued photo identification for purposes of any 
                program or function of a State or local 
                government other than the administration of 
                elections.
          [(4)] (5) Contents of mail-in registration form.--
                  (A)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(5)] (6) Construction.--Nothing in this subsection 
        shall be construed to require a State that was not 
        required to comply with a provision of the National 
        Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et 
        seq.) before the date of the enactment of this Act to 
        comply with such a provision after such date.
  (c) Permitted Use of Last 4 Digits of Social Security 
Numbers.--The last 4 digits of a social security number 
described in [subsections (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) and 
(b)(3)(B)(i)(II)] subsection (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) shall not be 
considered to be a social security number for purposes of 
section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a note).
  (d) Effective Date.--
          (1)  * * *
          [(2) Requirement for voters who register by mail.--
                  [(A) In general.--Each State and jurisdiction 
                shall be required to comply with the 
                requirements of subsection (b) on and after 
                January 1, 2004, and shall be prepared to 
                receive registration materials submitted by 
                individuals described in subparagraph (B) on 
                and after the date described in such 
                subparagraph.
                  [(B) Applicability with respect to 
                individuals.--The provisions of subsection (b) 
                shall apply to any individual who registers to 
                vote on or after January 1, 2003.]
          (2) Requirement to provide photo identification.--
        Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) shall apply 
        with respect to the regularly scheduled general 
        election for Federal office held in November 2008 and 
        each subsequent election for Federal office.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    MINORITY VIEWS OF RANKING MEMBER JUANITA MILLENDER-MCDONALD OF 
CALIFORNIA, REP. ROBERT A. BRADY OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND REP. ZOE LOFGREN 
                             OF CALIFORNIA

                              INTRODUCTION

    The Committee on House Administration amended and ordered 
reported H.R. 4844, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, 
by a recorded vote of 4-3. The inescapable consequence of 
enacting H.R. 4844 will be to decrease the number of citizens 
able to vote. Unfortunately the Majority made no effort to 
determine how many voters will be disenfranchised by this 
legislation. The fact that millions of Americans do not have 
the identification and proof of citizenship that the bill 
requires does not appear to concern the Majority, nor does the 
fact that those citizens, who are most likely to lose their 
right to vote, are disproportionately the elderly, the disabled 
and racial minorities. The Majority has abandoned the 
bipartisanship reflected in the previous election legislation 
to pursue a partisan agenda. In the view of the Minority, H.R. 
4844 will do far more to suppress turnout and intimidate voters 
than to prevent voter fraud, the purported objective of the 
Majority. Millions of Americans will be denied their right to 
vote because the Majority is rushing this bill to the floor to 
address a problem that is not supported by quantitative or 
empirical data to show that real problems exist.

                   THE REAL FRAUD: VOTER SUPPRESSION

    What H.R. 4844 does not do is more striking than what it 
does. For all the concern that the Majority expresses about 
protecting the right to vote, the bill does nothing to stop 
voter suppression or correct the myriad of administrative 
problems that are plaguing our elections and robbing our 
citizens of their right to vote. H.R. 4844, as amended, will do 
nothing to stop the intentional forms of voter suppression like 
the instances in 2004 when unsuspecting voters were misinformed 
about the time or place of the election or about the 
qualifications for voting. It will not remedy the long lines, 
the misallocated voting equipment or voter registration rules 
and election procedures that deny citizens the opportunity to 
vote. These are the issues that the Committee should be 
addressing.
    Instead the Majority devises a modern day poll tax in the 
form of proof of citizenship that will keep eligible citizens 
from voting. No citizen should have to pay in order to exercise 
his or her Constitutional right to vote. Proof of citizenship 
requirements place on the voter the difficult, time consuming, 
and costly burden of obtaining the necessary documentation to 
prove citizenship or identity in order to cast a ballot. And 
this burden falls mostly on the elderly, the poor and some 
racial minorities. For example, the United States State 
Department reports that only 23 percent of all Americans 
possess a passport and the cost of obtaining one exceeds $100. 
A majority of Americans do not currently possess the 
identification required by H.R. 4844, and requiring them to 
obtain one imposes an unconstitutional burden on their right to 
vote. Some Americans will be unable to acquire the necessary 
documents at any cost because they lack a birth certificate.
    Instead of making it difficult to vote, our job should be 
to promote more broadly civic participation. Instead of 
erecting new barriers, we should be devoting our resources to 
prosecuting the illegal intimidation tactics that continue to 
surface with each election cycle.
    This legislation will do absolutely nothing to address the 
widespread voter disenfranchisement caused by administrative 
incompetence and irrational election rules and procedures. Just 
two years ago, thousands of voters waited in line for long 
hours to cast a ballot because of the misallocation of voting 
equipment, or because of the selective interpretation of the 
voting laws for partisan gain.
    No one would disagree with the Majority that voter fraud is 
wrong and anyone who breaks the law should be prosecuted to the 
fullest extent of the law. Falsely claiming citizenship and 
voting fraud have long been state and federal offenses. And the 
country has strong laws in place today to address this concern. 
Federal law (18 U.S.C. Sec. 611) prohibits non-citizens from 
voting in national elections or from providing false 
information about citizenship when registering (18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 911). Both provisions carry prison time and stiff 
financial penalties. In addition, ever since U.S. immigration 
laws were reformed in 1996, immigrants who try to vote can be 
criminally prosecuted, and after that, are automatically given 
a one-way ticket out of the country. These laws deter non-
citizens from registering and voting. That is one reason that 
the Majority was unable to document that illegal voting by non-
citizens is a problem. Another reason is that non-citizens have 
little interest in voting and in doing so, exposing themselves 
to possible deportation. Burdensome proof of citizenship 
requirements will only penalize U.S. citizens who simply desire 
to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.
    H.R. 4844 is a solution in search of a problem, as the 
testimony from our June 2006 hearing attests. The Majority's 
own witnesses admitted that the ``need'' for a proof of 
citizenship requirement is not documented by studies or by 
empirical data. The question is why the Majority is so willing 
to sacrifice the right to vote of millions of Americans to 
prevent what even the Majority's own witnesses see are at worst 
an occasional and isolated instance of non-citizens voting.

                               H.R. 4844

    H.R. 4844, would:
           require an individual to present a 
        government issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot 
        for the 2008 Federal elections;
           prevent voters from casting a ballot unless 
        they offer proof of citizenship in order to vote in 
        2010;
           allow for the counting of a provisional 
        ballot only if the individual who cast the ballot 
        returns to the appropriate election official within 48 
        hours of casting the provisional ballot with the 
        required photo ID;
           require anyone other than overseas active 
        military personnel to include with their absentee 
        ballot a copy of a current and valid government-issued 
        photo ID. This has the potential for disenfranchising 
        thousands of voters in states like Oregon, which 
        conduct all of their elections by mail-in ballots, or 
        states that are moving in that direction, like 
        Washington state;
           instruct the Election Assistance Commission 
        to make payments to the states to cover the cost 
        incurred in providing photo ID to certain individuals; 
        and
           authorizes appropriations to pay states for 
        the cost of providing photo IDs to indigent 
        individuals. Citizens who are not indigent would still 
        have an out-of-pocket expense, and indigent citizens 
        will still need to bear the costs of obtaining proof of 
        citizenship to obtain the state-issued photo ID.

                         DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVE

    Ranking Member Millender-McDonald offered a perfecting 
amendment in the Committee in the nature of a substitute to 
H.R. 4844, which was rejected by the Majority 4-3.
    If adopted, the amendment would have improved voter access 
to the polls, prevented election fraud, and supported election 
integrity. The amendment proposed to:
          (1) establish uniform standards for the treatment of 
        provisional ballots;
          (2) create uniform standard for treatment of 
        provisional ballots cast at incorrect polling places;
          (3) clarify criminal penalties for voter fraud under 
        the HAVA;
          (4) codify a Federal Court decision that HAVA 
        matching requirements are intended as an administrative 
        safeguard, not as a restriction on voter eligibility; 
        and
          (5) provide to the states additional fraud prevention 
        methods.
    Congresswoman Lofgren offered an amendment that would have 
prevented H.R. 4844 from taking effect unless the EAC reports 
to Congress on the anticipated impact of the Act on voter 
participation, and the report concludes that implementation of 
H.R. 4844 will not disproportionately affect voter 
participation by the elderly, disabled and racial minorities. 
This amendment was also rejected 4-3.
    The Federal Elections Commission noted in its 1997 report 
to Congress that photo identification entails major expenses, 
both initially and in maintenance. Such a requirement also 
presents an undue and potentially discriminatory burden on 
citizens in exercising their basic right to vote.
    Partisan attempts to burden our Nation with troublesome 
proof of citizenship requirements are not the direction our 
Committee or the country should be heading. This Committee 
should focus on ensuring that all Americans, who are eligible 
to vote, are able to do so without having to wait for many long 
hours to cast a ballot. Further, this Committee should be 
concentrating on ways to ensure all Americans that their 
ballots will be fully accounted for, and their votes will be 
accurately counted. The Congress and this Committee should be 
addressing the real voter fraud issues, because electoral fraud 
perpetrated on Americans: voter intimidation, threats; 
misinformation, and other forms of voter suppression are still 
disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of American citizens 
today.

                   CITIZEN GROUPS OPPOSING H.R. 4844

    To date, we have received testimony and letters from 89 
citizen groups that vehemently oppose voter ID and proof of 
citizenship requirements to vote. We would like to include the 
attached letters of opposition from the following groups:
    A. Philip Randolph Institute.
    ACORN.
    Advancement Project.
    Aguila Youth Leadership Institute.
    Alliance for Retired Americans.
    American Association of People with Disabilities.
    American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
    American Civil Liberties Union.
    American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
    American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (AFL-CIO).
    American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
Employees.
    American Immigration Lawyers Association.
    American Policy Center.
    Americans for Democratic Action.
    Arizona Advocacy Network.
    Arizona Consumers Council.
    Arizona Hispanic Community Forum.
    Arizona Students' Association.
    Asian American Justice Center.
    Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
    Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote).
    Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO.
    Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
    Center for Digital Democracy.
    Common Cause.
    Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.
    Concerned Foreign Service Officers.
    Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
    Consumer Action.
    Cyber Privacy Project.
    Democratic Women's Working Group.
    Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action.
    Electronic Privacy Information Center.
    Emigrantes Sin Fronteras.
    Fairfax County Privacy Council.
    Friends Committee on National Legislation.
    Hispanic Federation.
    Hispanic National Bar Association.
    Interfaith Worker Justice of Arizona.
    Intertribal Council of Arizona.
    Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).
    La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).
    Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
    League of United Latin American Citizens.
    League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson.
    League of Women Voters of the United States.
    Legal Momentum.
    Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
(NAACP).
    National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed 
Officials Educational Fund.
    National Center for Transgender Equality.
    National Congress of American Indians.
    National Council of Jewish Women.
    National Council of La Raza.
    National Disability Rights Network.
    National Education Association.
    National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.
    National Urban League.
    National Voting Rights Institute.
    Navajo Nation.
    New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc./NYPIRG.
    Ohio Taxpayers Association & OTA Foundation.
    People for the American Way Foundation.
    Project for Arizona's Future.
    Protection and Advocacy System.
    RainbowPUSH Coalition.
    Republican Liberty Caucus.
    SEIU Local 5 Arizona.
    Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
    Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF).
    Somos America/We Are America.
    Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.
    The Multiracial Activist.
    The Rutherford Institute.
    Tohono O'odham Nation.
    Transgender Law Center.
    U.S. PIRG.
    Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
    United Auto Workers.
    United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries.
    United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and 
Society.
    United States Student Association.
    United Steelworkers.
    UNITE-HERE.
    Velvet Revolution.
    William C. Velasquez Institute.
    YWCA USA.

                               CONCLUSION

    The proponents of H.R. 4844 characterize this legislation 
merely as an administrative protection that is simple to 
implement and necessary to prevent fraud. The truth is H.R. 
4844 is a draconian measure that will suppress voting and 
undermine laws that Congress has passed to assure all citizens 
have a full and equal right to participate. Enacting this law 
measure will be an affront to all Americans who take pride in 
the progress our country has made in extending the franchise to 
all of its citizens and who take offense at the political 
manipulation of our election process.
    Let us not forget, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced 
nearly 700,000 citizens from the Gulf Coast last year. What 
about the Katrina victims who not only lost houses and jobs, 
but under this bill will lose their right to vote because they 
lost the documentation necessary to vote? There will be other 
victims of this ill-conceived legislation including those 
because of their disability cannot locate the necessary 
documents or those who were born at home because they were 
denied access to their local hospital or those that are wrongly 
denied by government error, the necessary documentation.
    Democrats along with well intentioned Republicans have 
fought for and won the extension of voting rights to eligible 
Americans. During the last century, our country has expanded 
the right to vote to millions of Americans with the passage of 
the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote; the Voting 
Rights Act of 1965 preventing institutional voter suppression; 
the 26th amendment giving the right to vote to 18 year olds; 
the National Voter Registration Act of 1993; and the Help 
America Vote Act of 2002. We will not shirk our responsibility 
to defend those gains and we will not let those gains be lost 
to undocumented allegations of fraud or to partisan efforts to 
secure a political advantage. The right to vote is too precious 
to allow any citizen's vote to be sacrificed to those who would 
treat it carelessly.

                                   Juanita Millender-McDonald.
                                   Rob A. Brady.
                                   Zoe Lofgren.

                          MINORITY ATTACHMENTS

                                                 APIA Vote,
                                Washington, DC, September 15, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Representatives Ehlers and Millender-McDonald: The 
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and the 
South Asian American Leaders for Tomorrow (SAALT) write to 
express our grave concerns about the government-issued photo 
identification requirements for voting proposed in H.R. 4844, 
the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006. If enacted, H.R. 
4844 will require every eligible voter to obtain and present 
government-issued photo for federal elections in 2008 and 
thereafter. H.R. 4844 creates burdensome obstacles to our 
democratic electoral process and will have a disenfranchising 
impact on the civic participation of eligible Asian Pacific 
Islander American (APIA) voters.
    H.R. 4844 will significantly impede the growing trend of 
increased participation by Asian Pacific Islander Americans in 
our nation's democracy. Over the past ten years, the number of 
Asian Pacific Islander American voters increased from less than 
one million to 1.98 million, a 118% growth. In 2004 alone, 3.2 
million APIAs registered to vote and 85% appeared at the polls 
on Election Day to cast their ballot and have their ballot 
counted. However, H.R. 4844 imposes administrative barriers 
that would discourage all current eligible voters.
    Furthermore, limited English proficient (LEP) voters may be 
less likely to understand the new requirement. Even within 
jurisdictions with Section 203 coverage under the Voting Rights 
Act, this new requirement will take time for APIA LEP voters to 
understand and comply.
    Proponents of H.R. 4844 claim that the integrity of our 
democracy is at stake and widespread voter fraud demands the 
passage of the drastic proposed measures. However, the United 
States Department of Justice has documented less than 100 
allegations of ballot fraud and far less actual convictions 
nationwide. Congress should not respond to these exaggerated 
claims by mandating that every eligible voter obtain and 
present government-issued photo identification, especially when 
there are numerous other measures, such as signature 
verification and legally-binding affidavits, that can be 
established to reinforce fair elections. This misguided piece 
of legislation will simply lead to the disenfranchisement of 
limited English proficient voters, immigrant voters, and 
minority voters.
    As Congress considers H.R. 4844, we implore to consider 
whether the legislation advances our democracy, promotes civic 
engagement, and restores confidence in the electoral process. 
If H.R. 4844 disenfranchises even one eligible voter, which it 
will surely do if enacted, then it is a great disservice to the 
principles of our society.
                                ------                                

                               People for the American Way,
                                Washington, DC, September 14, 2006.
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Committee Member: On behalf of the more than 900,000 
members and activists of People for the American Way, we urge 
you to stand up for the right of all citizens to fully 
participate in our democratic society and oppose measures, such 
as H.R. 4844, or other proof of citizenship or voter ID 
requirements, that seek to erect barriers to the ballot. Our 
American democracy is one of inclusion that thrives on the 
diversity of our populace and the full participation of its 
citizenry. Overly burdensome and unnecessary voter ID and proof 
of citizenship requirements are an anathema to this ideal and 
only serve to alienate and disenfranchise eligible citizens.
    Election Fraud
    Fraud takes many forms. While proponents of H.R. 4844 and 
other voter ID requirements claim to be addressing the 
existence of massive ``voter fraud,'' particularly by illegal 
immigrants; to date, there are no credible reports of 
significant fraud to support the need for such restrictive 
proposals. While it is true that the integrity of the electoral 
process must be protected, this can only be done by addressing 
actual problems that truly serve to undermine voter confidence. 
This necessarily includes procedures and actions by individuals 
and election administrators that will prevent eligible voters 
from participating in the electoral process. Voter intimidation 
and harassment of voters at the polls are some of the more 
obvious forms of activities that disenfranchise voters and 
contribute to fraud in our election process. Other actions such 
as election officials removing eligible voters from the 
registration rolls, the destruction of voter registration cards 
because of registrants' political affiliation, or the mass 
challenging of minority voters at the polling places are other 
fraudulent activities that must be addressed. Any definition 
that is not sufficiently broad to include such activities 
prevents decision makers from devising appropriate solutions.
    Proof of Citizenship Requirements
    Proof of citizenship requirements are unnecessary. Those 
registering to vote are already required to take an oath of 
citizenship. The extra requirement for providing documents only 
creates an additional hurdle for voters.
    Unfortunately, proposals to require proof of citizenship 
are often a way to disguise racist and anti-immigrant sentiment 
and only serve to disenfranchise eligible citizens. This is 
because proponents know that proof of citizenship requirements 
are impossible for members of some communities to acquire and 
very hard for others. For instance, in certain parts of the 
country, elderly African Americans and many Native Americans 
were born at home, under the care ofelderly African Americans 
and many Native Americans were born at home, under the care of 
midwives, and do not possess birth certificates. People of color, 
people with disabilities, elderly people, young people, and low-income 
citizens are among the demographic groups least likely to have 
documents in their possession to prove citizenship. Furthermore for 
victims of natural disasters like hurricane Katrina, it may be 
impossible to obtain birth certificates or other documents because they 
have been destroyed.
    Legislation such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 
Help America Vote Act have made it easier for all citizens to 
vote, and have resulted in increased voter participation by 
Latinos and other minorities. This progress should be continued 
and we should not allow retrogressive proposals like 
Proposition 200 or others to turn back the progress of these 
significant civil rights laws.

Voter Identification Requirements

    Restrictive voter ID requirements are similarly unnecessary 
and harmful. Like proof of citizenship requirements, such voter 
ID requirements impose a severe burden and are likely to 
disenfranchise poor, minority, elderly and young voters, who 
are less likely to have photo identification and move more 
frequently. The data is clear:
          Approximately 6 to 10% of the American 
        electorate does not have any form of state 
        identification.
          African Americans are four to five times less 
        likely than whites to have photo identification.
          Young adults (age 20-29) move almost 6 times 
        more frequently than adults over 55, and minorities 
        move 50% more frequently than whites.
          In Georgia, It is estimated that nearly 40% 
        of seniors lack photo identification.
    Instead of addressing unsubstantiated voter fraud, such 
restrictive voting measures erect barriers to the ballot and 
are likely to be enforced in discriminatory ways against poor 
and minority voters to intimidate, misinform, stigmatize, and 
ultimately suppress the vote.

Real Solutions

    Even if fraud were a problem, there are positive steps that 
states can take to lessen the threat of fraud and protect the 
integrity of the ballot box without risking disenfranchising 
voters, such as implementing statewide voter registration 
databases as mandated by HA VA. Additional ``fraud-protection'' 
measures could include accurate cleansing of voter registration 
rolls, verification of voters' unique identifying numbers, in-
person affirmation, signature comparison, and finally, the 
vigorous prosecution of any cases of election fraud. These are 
real solutions to actual documented problems.

Conclusion

    Since the 2000 Presidential Election, our sister 
organization, People For the American Way Foundation, has been 
a leader in the Election Protection Coalition along with its 
allies the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law and 
the NAACP. Integral to Election Protection was the deployment 
of thousands of volunteers across the country to serve as poll 
monitors to assist voters and document the problems voters 
faced as they attempted to exercise their right to vote. The 
data collected from volunteers and voters through reports from 
the field and through the Election Protection Hotline clearly 
evidence a need for election officials to address the real 
problems created by voter harassment and intimidation, the lack 
of machines at low-income and minority poll sites, improperly 
trained poll workers and the creation of overly burdensome 
voter registration procedures by partisan election officials, 
just to name a few. These are the real problems that deserve 
the priority of election officials. Only then can we truly 
maintain the integrity of our electoral system and protect the 
right to vote of all eligible citizens. Voter ID and proof of 
citizenship proposals are simply forms of a 21st century poll 
tax that have no business in our electoral process. The right 
to vote is fundamental and Congress should be focused on ways 
to open the franchise to all eligible citizens. PFAW looks 
forward to working with Congress to protect this right to vote 
for all Americans.
            Sincerely,
                                   Ralph G. Neas,
                                           President.
                                   Tanya Clay House,
                                           Director, Public Policy.
                                ------                                

                             Congress of the United States,
                                Washington, DC, September 14, 2006.
Hon. Vernon J. Ehlers,
Chairman, House of Representatives,
Committee on House Administration, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, House of Representatives,
Committee on House Administration, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
As Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, we write to 
express our opposition to H.R. 4844, the Federal Election 
Integrity Act of 2006. This legislation, purporting to secure 
our electoral system against fraud, is merely a backdoor effort 
to intimidate and disenfranchise otherwise eligible voters. As 
we have said before to this committee, it is regrettable that 
once again two unrelated issues--non-citizens and voting 
fraud--are linked in the public's mind to create a controversy 
were none exists.
    We hold a longstanding opposition to identification 
requirement as part of the voting process. For some time we 
have heard of the need for a photo identification requirement 
as a necessary tool to combat fraud. However, there is no 
evidence of widespread fraud in any recent election, in 
particular any linked to non-citizens voting in federal 
elections. In those instances when a violation occurred, our 
judicial system has responded swiftly.
    While a photo identification requirement at the polls seems 
entirely reasonable, it is important to note that some people 
simply do not possess photo identification. For example, in the 
Latino community, there are many low-income households in which 
no one possesses a car, and certainly not a driver's license, 
let alone a passport. There are people in such households who 
do not even possess alternatives to photo identification, such 
as utility bills or government checks in their name. For such 
low-income individuals, the cost of obtaining photo 
identification is itself a burden, and such a requirement is 
all too reminiscent of past barriers to voting.
    Requiring any form of identification at the polling place 
would inevitably create similar barriers and hurdles for racial 
and ethnic minority voters and would have a chilling effect on 
voter participation. Identification provisions have rightfully 
been prohibited because of the disparate impact they have on 
minority electoral participation. In addition, it would have a 
devastating effect on rural voters, as well as the elderly and 
disabled. As responsible policy makers, we need to consider 
whether the proposed remedy to a problem will cause greater 
harm than good. If in our efforts to prevent fraud we impose a 
burdensome requirement, then we have not created good policy.
    This legislation, H.R. 4844, goes further than simply 
requiring photo identification and would amend the P.L. 103-31, 
the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), to make proof-of-
citizenship a federal requirement for voting in states that 
require registration. This presents several problems in that if 
improperly implemented, a voter ID law would likely violate 
other federal voting rights laws such as the Voting Rights Act 
of 1965 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002. In addition, 
states would have to create new forms and a new system to 
capture registrations by mail, otherwise they would be non-
compliant with the law the bill intends to amend, NVRA. 
Moreover, it would fail to stop fraud that could occur via 
mail-in voting or by the use of absentee ballots.
    Currently, federal voter registration forms allow persons 
to attest to the fact that they are citizens. If H.R. 4844 were 
implemented, the requirements would be akin to imposing a 
modern-day poll tax because citizens would now have to pay to 
secure documents to prove what they have already confirmed via 
attestation, that they are indeed citizens. For persons of 
limited means, the prospect of spending $85 for a passport or 
time locating a birth certificate could easily discourage them 
from voting at all. In the case of naturalized citizens, this 
requirement is problematic in that the Department of Homeland 
Security makes it punishable by law to ``copy, print, or 
photograph'' a citizenship certificate. Any naturalized citizen 
would be in violation of one law in an attempt to comply with 
another. No individual should have to make that choice.
    The negative consequence of some measures ostensibly 
designed to combat fraud is the disenfranchisement of 
legitimate voters. Any anti-fraud measure should pass a test 
that asks how much fraud the measure will prevent and how many 
legitimate voters will be prevented from voting. If the latter 
number is greater than the former, then the measure fails the 
test.
    We urge you to consider the risks inherent in 
identification requirements and to oppose this bill in 
particular.
            Sincerely,
                                   Grace Flores Napolitano,
                                           Chair, Congressional 
                                               Hispanic Caucus.
                                   Charles A. Gonzalez,
                                           Chair, CHC Civil Rights Task 
                                               Force.
                                ------                                

             NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
                                  New York, NY, September 13, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) strongly 
opposes H.R. 4844, the ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 
2006.''
    H.R. 4844 would prohibit qualified voters from voting in 
elections if they do not have a government-issued form of photo 
identification, which in turn requires individual voters to 
furnish proof of citizenship or a copy (in most states, a 
certified copy) of a document proving citizenship. H.R. 4844 
will disproportionately affect poor, racial minority, disabled, 
homeless, and elderly voters by erecting a new, costly, 
unnecessary, and unjustifiable barrier to voting. We urge you 
to vote against this measure.
    We are particularly concerned that the requirements of H.R. 
4844 will have a disproportionate effect on low-income Black 
voters. As evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, poor voters impacted 
by circumstances outside of their control are often unable to 
obtain the documents required for government issued 
identification because they are destroyed or otherwise 
unavailable. These same voters should not be denied access to 
the polling place under such circumstances.
    In addition, many of the underlying documents required to 
obtain government issued photo identification are unavailable 
to poor and elderly minority voters who disproportionately 
either (a) did not receive a birth certificate at the time of 
birth or (b) do not have a certified copy of their birth 
certificate at their disposal. Under the provisions of H.R. 
4844, these otherwise eligible voters would be disfranchised.
    LDF opposes any measure that attempts to impose a fee in 
order to exercise the fundamental right to vote. Persistent 
attempts to mask an unconstitutional poll tax by shifting the 
payment window from the poll house door to the Department of 
Motor Vehicles (when a fee is charged for a state 
identification card), or the Department of Health (when a fee 
is charged to obtain a copy of a birth certificate) does not 
alter the disproportionately prohibitive nature of such costs 
to poor, minority, and elderly voters.
    Finally, the proponents of H.R. 4844 simply have not 
proffered sufficient evidence of ``unchecked fraud'' to justify 
the prohibitive impact of H.R. 4844 on eligible voters. Thus, 
there is no need for Congress to remedy a problem that has not 
been demonstrated to exist in any widespread fashion. Moreover, 
as a practical matter, state penalties for fraudulent voting, 
as well as the onerous task of identifying and locating a voter 
to impersonate, and then casting an illegal ballot without 
suspicion, adequately curtail the number of ineligible persons, 
if any, attempting to vote by misrepresenting their identity at 
the polls. Although the government must guard against voter 
fraud, electoral integrity is not achieved when eligible voters 
are denied access to the core of our democracy: the fundamental 
right to vote.
    The right to vote, recognized by the United States Supreme 
Court as the ``civil right of the highest order,'' is 
preservative of all other rights. New voting rights challenges, 
like photo identification requirements, threaten to undermine 
the legitimacy of our democracy. The recent Voting Rights Act 
renewal focused on the shared goal of protecting the 
fundamental right to vote. Congress should not now enact 
legislation that will have the effect of excluding the same 
eligible voters the VRA protects.
            Sincerely,
                                          Theodore M. Shaw,
                                    Director-Counsel and President.
    Cc: All House Administration Committee Members.
                                ------                                

                                             NAACP,
                                         Washington Bureau,
                                Washington, DC, September 13, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
On behalf of the NAACP, our nation's oldest and largest 
grassroots based civil rights organization, I write to express 
our strong opposition to H.R. 4844, the misnamed, ``Federal 
Election Integrity Act of 2006.'' If implemented, HR. 4844 
would require all voters to obtain and present a government-
issued photo ID that proves their citizenship in order to vote 
beginning in 2008. We are convinced in doing so, H.R. 4844 
would facilitate and in some cases even encourage 
discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities, as well as 
the elderly and the poor at polling places and prevent many 
eligible voters across the country from participating in our 
sacredly held democratic practice of voting. To add insult to 
injury, it would do little too nothing to prevent actual 
instances of voter fraud. The so-called Federal Election 
Integrity Act, would only exacerbate the already existing 
problem of voter non-participation by erroneously removing or 
discouraging countless eligible voters from the process. We 
urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to oppose this ill-
conceived measure and work to defeat it's passage in the U.S. 
House of Representatives.
    Upon closer examination, H.R. 4844 re-creates new obstacles 
in voting akin to a modern day ``poll-tax'' by forcing U.S 
citizens to ``pay'' for government approved ID that many of our 
most vulnerable citizens do not have or cannot easily obtain to 
prove their citizenship such as passports or birth 
certificates. The bill attempts to address this problem by 
including a weak and ineffective provision to cover the cost of 
ID's for voters who cannot afford them. The NAACP strongly 
believes that crucial voting rights should never depend on the 
tenuous appropriations process. Moreover, citizens would still 
be faced with the expense and time involved in getting the 
documentation required to obtain ID. As such, while the 1964 
Voting Rights Act eliminated our nation's racially 
discriminatory poll taxes, H.R. 4844 effectively brings them 
back.
    To add to our concerns about this misguided bill, we are 
convinced that the criterion for establishing proof of 
citizenship may be impossible for some of ourcitizens to 
establish. Until recently, it was common in certain parts of the 
country for people to be born at home without obtaining an official 
birth certificate. If H.R. 4844 were to become law, these American 
citizens would be completely disenfranchised.
    The requirement that all voters present a photo ID before 
being able to cast a regular ballot will disproportionately 
disenfranchise African Americans and other racial and ethnic 
minority Americans, as well as, the elderly, individuals with 
disabilities, Americans living in rural areas, Native American 
voters, the homeless, and low-income people who are less likely 
to have or carry a photo ID.
    Supporters of H.R. 4844 erroneously argue that it is 
necessary to require photo IDs and proof of citizenship in 
order to combat voter fraud, however nationwide evidence 
clearly establishes that current anti-fraud laws work. 
Moreover, while there is no question that election misconduct 
exists, including improper purges of voters, distributing false 
information about when and where to vote, stuffing ballot 
boxes, and tampering with registration forms, there is no 
evidence that the type of fraud that H.R. 4844 purports to 
address--voters who misrepresent their identity--is anything 
but an anomaly. Quite frankly, it has been clearly documented 
that our nation's biggest problems with voter fraud are because 
of the illegal activities of election officials and not those 
of the American people exercising their constitutional right to 
cast an unfettered vote of their own free will and have that 
vote counted.
    Misguided legislative proposals like the so-called, 
``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006'' represent some of 
the greatest threats to fair and equal voting rights 
protections today.
    In July of this year, Congress passed the historic 
reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, ``the Fannie Lou 
Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act 
Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 protecting the right 
to vote for millions of Americans for many years to come. This 
important, bi-partisan, victory would be undermined by H.R. 
4844, which would disenfranchise many of the very citizens that 
the VRA is designed to protect.
    Thank you in advance for your consideration of this issue 
and for your attention to the concerns of the NAACP. We look 
forward to working with you to defeat this truly problematic 
bill. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.
            Sincerely,
                                         Hilary O. Shelton,
                                                          Director.
                                ------                                

                                     National Urban League,
                                Washington, DC, September 13, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
As President and CEO of the National Urban League, I am writing 
to express our strong opposition to H.R. 4844, the ``Federal 
Election Integrity Act of 2006.'' H.R. 4844 would require all 
voters, beginning with the 2006 general election in less than 
eight weeks, to obtain and show proof of citizenship prior to 
registering to vote, and obtain and show a photo ID prior to 
casting a ballot. H.R. 4844 is being sold as a measure to 
reduce voter fraud--in reality, it would encourage 
discrimination and prevent many eligible voters from exercising 
the most sacred and important civil right they have, the right 
to vote.
    The National Urban League considers proof-of-citizenship 
requirements a 21st century poll tax. No citizen should have to 
pay money to register to vote. Proof-of-citizenship 
requirements invariably put the burden--including the financial 
burden--on U.S. citizens. While it would be great if all 
citizens had documents such as a passport or a birth 
certificate readily available, the truth is that many do not, 
which means that they would have to pay for them in order to 
vote.
    A birth certificate usually costs $10 to $15. Only 25-27 
percent of eligible Americans have passports, which now cost 
$97. Naturalization papers, if they must be replaced, cost 
$210. H.R. 4844 makes no provision for citizens who lack the 
money to pay for these documents, meaning that the right to 
vote will likely become ``unaffordable'' for some citizens. 
This is why a federal district court recently characterized 
Georgia's similar photo ID law as a ``poll tax.''
    The National Urban League was a strong advocate and worked 
tirelessly to help enact the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and 
Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and 
Amendments Act of 2006. We believe that the right to vote, and 
to have those votes counted, is the most important civil right 
of all. Proposals like H.R. 4844, while possibly appealing on 
the surface, are one of the greatest threats to fair and equal 
voting rights today. We should be focusing on encouraging full 
participation of our citizenry, not developing ways to limit 
the precious right to vote.
    H.R. 4844 takes a misguided approach that will inherently 
disenfranchise large numbers of legal voters. Instead of 
safeguarding elections, H.R. 4844's requirements would 
undermine confidence in the fairness of the outcomes.
    H.R. 4844 will disproportionately affect people of color, 
the elderly, individuals with disabilities, rural and Native 
voters, the homeless, low-income people, and married women. 
Proof of citizenship may be impossible for some people to 
obtain, and very hard for others. In certain parts of the 
country, for example, elderly African Americans and many Native 
Americans were born at homeunder the care of midwives, and do 
not possess birth certificates. People of color, people with 
disabilities, the elderly, young, and people who live in poverty are 
among the groups least likely to have documents to prove they are U.S. 
citizens.
    The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 
between 6-12 percent of voters nationally do not have a 
government-issued photo ID. A number of other studies have 
documented that certain segments of the population are far less 
likely to have a photo ID than other Americans. A University of 
Wisconsin study found that nearly 50 percent of African 
American and Latino men in Milwaukee do not have a government-
issued photo ID.
    Even if they have valid ID, many eligible voters will be 
turned away. H.R. 4844 will place an inordinate amount of 
discretion in the hands of overworked (and sometimes poorly 
trained) poll workers. Deciding whether a voter matches or does 
not match the photo in an ID card--which can be many years 
old--is a very subjective process and prone to mistakes or 
worse. In addition, if an ID card does not contain the voter's 
current address, which is true of millions of Americans, he or 
she will probably be turned away from the polls. Because H.R. 
4844 does not explain how disputes over the validity of ID 
should be settled, and because it will keep voters who don't 
have a so-called ``valid'' ID from obtaining provisional 
ballots, it will enable racial and ethnic discrimination at 
polling places.
    Our current lows work when properly enforced. Falsely 
claiming citizenship and voting fraudulently have long been 
federal offenses. Voter ID fraud is a surprisingly rare 
problem. There is no evidence that the type of fraud that H.R. 
4844 supposedly addresses--voters who misrepresent their 
identity--is anything but an anomaly. For example:
          In Ohio, a statewide survey found four 
        instances of ineligible persons voting or attempting to 
        vote in 2002 and 2004, out of 9,078,728 votes cast--a 
        rate of 0.00004%.
          Despite the invocation of fraud as support 
        for the new Georgia law, Secretary of State Cathy Cox 
        stated that in her ten-year tenure, she could not 
        recall one documented case of voter fraud involving the 
        impersonation of a registered voter at the polls.
          Nationwide, since October 2002, 86 
        individuals have been convicted of federal crimes 
        relating to election fraud (including several offenses 
        not remedied by ID requirements), while 196,139,871 
        ballots have been cast in federal general elections.
    Proof-of-citizenship requirements will only serve to burden 
U.S. citizens who want to exercise their right to vote. The 
National Urban League therefore strongly urges that you oppose 
H.R. 4844. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie 
Jones, Executive Director, National Urban League Policy 
Institute.
            Sincerely,
                                            Marc H. Morial,
                          President and CEO, National Urban League.
                                ------                                

                                                September 13, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
On behalf of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational 
Fund (MALDEF), the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), the 
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 
(NALEO) Educational Fund, the League of United Latin American 
Citizens (LULAC), the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), 
the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SWVREP), 
the William C. Velazquez Institute (WCVI), and the National 
Council of La Raza (NCLR), we write to express our strong 
opposition to the substitute amendment to the ``Federal 
Election Integrity Act of 2006'' (H.R. 4844) sponsored by 
Congressman Ehlers. Our organizations have grave concerns that 
the proposed legislation would deny the franchise to untold 
numbers of U.S. citizens who are otherwise eligible to vote, 
and that its burdens would be borne disproportionately by the 
poor, the elderly, and racial and ethnic minorities.
    H.R. 4844 would require voters to present government-issued 
photo identification for which the individual was required to 
provide proof of U.S. citizenship in order to receive a ballot 
in any election for federal office, beginning in November 2008. 
The primary government-issued photo identification that 
currently provides proof of citizenship is a U.S. passport, a 
costly document that many eligible voters do not possess.
    While the cost of citizenship and identification documents 
may seem negligible to some, it represents a significant burden 
to many Americans. While H.R. 4844 contains a provision that 
would require states to provide photo identification at no cost 
to ``indigent individuals,'' this does not cure the 
disproportionate burden of H.R. 4844 upon many poor, working, 
racial and ethnic minority, and elderly voters. Many eligible 
voters do not currently possess the documentation required to 
prove citizenship to the state agency charged with issuing the 
new photo identification and will disproportionately suffer the 
costs and burdens of securing this documentation. Further, 
securing the required state-issued voter identification card 
(which would only be used in voting) presents costs and burdens 
in lost wages, travel time, transportation costs, etc., that 
also present significant and disproportionate barriers to 
registration for many voters.
    Given the costs and difficulty of obtaining documents, 
legislation mandating these documents to register or to vote 
amounts to an impermissible ``poll tax'' by requiring otherwise 
qualified voters to essentially pay a fee as a condition of 
voting, in violation of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the U.S. 
Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Harper v. Virginia 
State Bd. of Elections, noted that voting requirements run 
afoul of the Constitution whenever they make ``the affluence of 
the voter or payment of any fee an electoral standard. Voter 
qualifications have no relation to wealth.''
    Since the implementation of Arizona's proof of citizenship 
requirement in 2005, more than 20,000 voter registration 
applications have been rejected solely for failure to provide 
the necessary proof of citizenship documentation. Many 
thousands of eligible voters who went through the trouble of 
completing the voter registration form, executing the necessary 
oaths under penalty of law, and submitting the form to the 
County Recorder were rejected simply because they failed to 
attach a document proving their citizenship.
    Community-based voter registration drives have been 
effectively terminated throughout the state, severely hampering 
the ability of new voters to register and participate in 
elections. Most volunteer voter registrars cannot carry a 
photocopy machine to malls, churches and fairs in order to 
photocopy the necessary documents on behalf of eligible voters. 
Most voter registration applicants do not, in fact, carry 
documentary proof of citizenship while out shopping or 
worshiping.
    In addition, testimony at a recent federal court hearing on 
Arizona's proof of citizenship requirement revealed that it 
places significant burdens upon county election officials 
because they must attempt to verify citizenship documents and 
track down voter registration applicants who are required to 
provide more information to the county in order to be added to 
the rolls.
    H.R. 4844 presents an unacceptable risk of denying the vote 
to otherwise eligible voters. At the same time, there is simply 
no good evidence that voter fraud by non-citizens constitutes a 
genuine or widespread problem--and certainly not on a scale to 
justify a response that is so costly, heavy-handed, and 
discriminatory in effect. In Arizona, for example, there is not 
a single documented case of a non-citizen intentionally and 
fraudulently registering to vote. Proof of citizenship 
requirements are quite simply a solution in search of a 
problem.
    H.R. 4844 would impermissibly burden the fundamental right 
to vote, the basis of our democratic system. Requiring voters 
to purchase documents in order to exercise the franchise is as 
much an affront today as it was when the Supreme Court issued 
its Harper ruling 40 years ago. On behalf of those Americans 
who would disproportionately bear this burden, we urge you to 
oppose this damaging proposal. For further information, please 
contact Peter Zamora, MALDEF Legislative Attorney.
            Sincerely,
    Asian American Justice Center.
    Hispanic National Bar Association.
    League of United Latin American Citizens.
    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
    National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed 
Officials Educational Fund.
    National Council of La Raza.
    Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.
    William C. Velasquez Institute.
                                ------                                

                     Leadership Conference on Civil Rights,
                                Washington, DC, September 13, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our strong 
opposition to H.R. 4844, ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 
2006.'' H.R. 4844 would require all voters, beginning in 2010, 
to obtain and show government-issued photo ID that proves their 
citizenship in order to vote. In doing so, H.R. 4844 would 
encourage racial and ethnic discrimination at polling places 
and prevent many eligible voters across the country from 
participating in our democracy, while doing nothing to combat 
genuine instances of voter fraud. H.R. 4844 would only serve to 
skew election results by removing countless eligible voters 
from the process. We urge you to vote against this ill-
conceived measure.
    In July of this year, Congress passed the historic 
reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, ``The Fannie Lou 
Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act 
Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006,'' protecting the 
right to vote for millions of Americans for many years to come. 
This important, bi-partisan, victory would be undermined by a 
new measure to disenfranchise some of the very citizens that 
the VRA is designed to protect.
    First, no citizen should have to pay to vote. Many U.S. 
citizens either do not have or cannot easily access documents 
that prove their citizenship such as a passport or birth 
certificate. Attempts to cover the cost of ID for voters who 
cannot afford them are not sufficient, as our most cherished 
civil right should never depend on annual appropriations 
decisions. Moreover, citizens would still be faced with the 
expense and time involved in getting the documentation required 
to obtain ID. Thus, while the Voting Rights Act eliminated poll 
taxes, H.R. 4844 brings them back.
    In addition, proof of citizenship may be impossible for 
some people to obtain. Until recently, it was common in certain 
parts of the country for people to be born at home, without 
obtaining an official birth certificate. If H.R. 4844 were to 
become law, these American citizens would be completely 
disenfranchised.
    The requirement that all voters present a photo ID before 
being able to cast a regular ballot will disproportionately 
disenfranchise people of color, the elderly, individuals with 
disabilities, rural and Native voters, the homeless, low-income 
people, and married women, who are less likely to carry a photo 
ID. Photo ID requirements also build an enormous amount of 
discretion into the balloting process, thus creating 
opportunities for discrimination at the polls against racial, 
ethnic, and language minority voters.
    Further, while supporters of H.R. 4844 argue that it is 
necessary to require photo IDs and proof of citizenship in 
order to combat voter fraud, the evidence clearly establishes 
that current anti-fraud laws work. Moreover, while there is no 
question that election misconduct exists, including improper 
purges of voters, distributing false information about when and 
where to vote, stuffing ballot boxes, and tampering with 
registration forms, there is no evidence that the type of fraud 
that H.R. 4844 purports to address--voters who misrepresent 
their identity--is anything but an anomaly.
    The right to vote, and to have your vote counted, is the 
most important civil right of all. Proposals like H.R. 4844 are 
one of the greatest threats to fair and equal voting rights 
today. Congress should be in the business of encouraging full 
participation of our citizenry, not developing ways to limit 
the right to vote.
    For these reasons, we strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 
4844. If you have any questions, please contact Rob Randhava, 
LCCR Counsel, Tanya Clay House of People For the American Way, 
or Jonah Goldman of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under 
Law.
            Sincerely,
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
    A. Philip Randolph Institute.
    AARP.
    ACORN.
    Alliance for Retired Americans.
    American Association of People with Disabilities.
    American Civil Liberties Union.
    American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial 
Organizations.
    American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
Employees.
    Americans for Democratic Action.
    Asian American Justice Center.
    Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
    Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO.
    Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
    Center for Digital Democracy.
    Common Cause.
    Consumer Action.
    Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action.
    Friends Committee on National Legislation.
    Hispanic Federation.
    Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
    League of Women Voters of the United States.
    Legal Momentum.
    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
    National Center for Transgender Equality.
    National Congress of American Indians.
    National Council of Jewish Women.
    National Council of La Raza.
    National Education Association.
    National Voting Rights Institute.
    People For the American Way.
    RainbowPUSH Coalition.
    Transgender Law Center.
    Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
    UNITE-HERE.
    United Auto Workers.
    United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and 
Society.
    United States Student Association.
    United Steelworkers.
    YWCA USA.
                                ------                                

                             Asian American Justice Center,
                                                September 13, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
The Asian American Justice Center, formerly known as the 
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, writes to 
express our strong opposition to H.R. 4844, the ``Federal 
Election Integrity Act of 2006.'' H.R. 4844 would require all 
voters, beginning in 2008, to obtain and show government-issued 
photo ID that proves their citizenship in order to vote. In 
doing so, H.R. 4844 would encourage racial and ethnic 
discrimination at polling places and prevent many eligible 
voters across the country from participating in our democracy, 
while doing nothing to combat genuine instances of voter fraud. 
H.R. 4844 would only serve to skew election results by removing 
countless eligible voters from the process. We urge you to vote 
against this ill-conceived measure.
    In July of this year, Congress passed the historic 
reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, ``The Rosa Parks, 
Fannie Lou Hamer, Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act 
Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006,'' protecting the 
right to vote for millions of Americans for many years to come. 
This important, bi-partisan, victory would be undermined by a 
new measure to disenfranchise some of the very citizens that 
the Voting Rights Act is designed to protect.
    First, no citizen should have to pay to vote. Many U.S. 
citizens either do not have or cannot easily access documents 
that prove their citizenship such as a passport or birth 
certificate. Attempts to cover the cost of ID for voters who 
cannot afford them are not sufficient, as our most cherished 
civil right should never depend on annual appropriations 
decisions. Moreover, citizens would still be faced with the 
expense and time involved in getting the documentation required 
to obtain ID. Thus, while the Voting Rights Act eliminated poll 
taxes, H.R. 4844 brings them back.
    In addition, proof of citizenship may be impossible for 
some people to obtain. Until recently, it was common in certain 
parts of the country for people to be born at home, without 
obtaining an official birth certificate. If H.R. 4844 were to 
become law, these American citizens would be completely 
disenfranchised.
    The requirement that all voters present a photo ID before 
being able to cast a regular ballot will disproportionately 
disenfranchise people of color, the elderly, individuals with 
disabilities, rural and Native voters, the homeless, low-income 
people, and married women, who are less likely to carry a photo 
ID. Photo ID requirements also build an enormous amount of 
discretion into the balloting process, thus creating 
opportunities for discrimination at the polls against racial, 
ethnic, and language minority voters. Past elections have 
provided some evidence of poll workers using the HAVA ID 
provision to discriminate against Asian American voters, 
singling only them out for ID requests even when they were not 
first-time voters. H.R. 4844 creates even more opportunities 
for continued discrimination against Asian American and other 
minority voters.
    Further, while supporters of H.R. 4844 argue that it is 
necessary to require photo IDs and proof of citizenship in 
order to combat voter fraud, the evidence clearly establishes 
that current anti-fraud laws work. Moreover, while there is no 
question that election misconduct exists, including improper 
purges of voters, distributing false information about when and 
where to vote, stuffing ballot boxes, and tampering with 
registration forms, there is no evidence that the type of fraud 
that H.R. 4844 purports to address--voters who misrepresent 
their identity--is anything but an anomaly.
    The right to vote, and to have your vote counted, is the 
most important civil right of all. Proposals like H.R. 4844 are 
one of the greatest threats to fair and equal voting rights 
today. Congress should be in the business of encouraging full 
participation of our citizenry, not developing ways to limit 
the right to vote.
    For these reasons, we strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 
4844. If you have any questions, please contact me.
            Sincerely,
                                       Terry M. Ao,
                      Director of Census & Voting Programs,
                                     Asian American Justice Center.
                                ------                                

              Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
                                                    Washington, DC.
Hon. Vernon Elders,
Chair, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Representative Ehlers and Representative Millender-
McDonald: On behalf of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights 
Under Law, I write in opposition to Representative Henry Hyde's 
so-called ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006,'' because 
it will sacrifice the most fundamental right guaranteed to all 
American citizens by our Constitution--the right to vote. 
Contrary to its title, the bill will undermine the integrity of 
our democratic process by making federal elections less 
responsive to the will of eligible American voters. At a time 
when our brave men and women are sacrificing their lives to 
ensure that Iraqis experience the national pride of a fair 
democratic process, patriotic responsibility demands that we 
insist on nothing less for our own citizens. H.R. 4844 
needlessly requires proof of citizenship when eligible voters 
register to vote and photo identification when citizens cast a 
ballot. These may seem like innocuous provisions, but in 
reality they will create an unprecedented regime of 
disenfranchisement targeting our Nation's traditionally 
underrepresented voters.
    For over forty years, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil 
Rights Under Law has fought the poisonous specter of 
discrimination through litigation, advocacy, and organizing. 
Our foundation rests on ensuring that all eligible voters have 
the opportunity to cast a meaningful ballot. Our legacy is why 
we are committed to opposing unnecessary restrictions that 
disenfranchise voters such as Congressman Hyde's bill. In 
Georgia and Arizona, the Lawyers' Committee is counsel for 
eligible citizens who will be disfranchised by similar, state 
initiated, provisions.
    Representative Hyde's bill is undemocratic, unfair, and 
unconstitutional because it:
           Places an unconstitutional burden on the 
        fundamental right of eligible citizens to participate 
        equally in the democratic process;
           Constitutes a poll tax;
           Unfairly removes eligible voters from the 
        electoral system, primarily from traditionally 
        disfranchised communities;
           Is impossible for states to administer; and
           Attempts to address a problem that does not 
        exist.
    As the United States District Court for the Northern 
District of Georgia found in Common Cause v. Billups, 406 F, 
Supp. 2d 1326 (N.D.Ga. 2005), when considering a Georgia law 
requiring ID at the polls, photo identification requirements 
unconstitutionally burden the fundamental right to vote of 
eligible American citizens. The court found that these 
provisions disproportionately affect traditionally 
disenfranchised voters, including senior citizens, minority 
voters, poor voters, disabled and young voters. Mr. Hyde's bill 
goes even further by requiring proof of citizenship when 
registering to vote; adding another layer of unnecessary 
restrictions on eligible voters.
    As the court found in Common Cause v. Billups, requiring 
photo identification at the polls amounts to an 
unconstitutional poll tax. The Lawyers' Committee fought for 
the Twenty Fourth Amendment, which brought to an end a shameful 
period in our nation's history by outlawing the poll tax; 
resurrecting it, as H.R. 4844 most certainly will do, leads us 
down that dark path once again.
    Proponents of photo identification provisions at the polls 
and proof of citizenship when registering to vote claim that 
these draconian constraints are necessary to guard against 
identity fraud at the nation's polling places; the truth, 
however, tells a far different story. Proponents of ID and 
proof of citizenship requirements have been unable to point to 
any credible evidence that eligible voter impersonation or non-
citizen voting is anything but an anomaly. In fact, according 
to the United States Department of Justice, out of 196,139,871 
votes cast since 2002, only 52 voters were convicted of federal 
election fraud. Similar studies by the League of Women Voters 
of Ohio and by a joint task force of state and federal law 
enforcement in Wisconsin, found a similar diminutive number of 
ineligible voters. The numbers of non-citizens who attempt to 
participate in the system is similarly miniscule. In most 
cases, those non-citizens who do end up on the voter 
registration rolls found their way onto the list through 
misinformation, not malice. This type of fraud plays no role in 
influencing the outcome of elections.
    Implementing H.R. 4844, however, will certainly have an 
impact on the outcome of elections by unnecessarily, unfairly, 
and unconstitutionally removing eligible voters from the 
process. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 6-
12 percent of eligible voters do not have the identification 
required by Mr. Hyde's bill. The Secretary of State of Georgia 
who recently investigated the impact Georgia's proposed ID law 
will have on the citizens in her state found that nearly 
700,000, about 1 in 7 registered voters, do not have either a 
driver's license or non-driver state issued ID. In many states, 
obtaining this type of identification is costly and difficult 
especially for those who cannot get to often remote issuing 
agencies.
    While H.R. 4844 is bad for all Americans, it has a 
disproportionate impact on traditionally disenfranchised 
voters. For example, a University of Wisconsin study found that 
in Milwaukee nearly 50 percent of African American and Latino 
men did not have government issued photo identification. 
Seniors in Georgia are similarly unfairly targeted by these 
laws. According to the AARP, 36 percent of voters in Georgia 
over the age of 75 do not have government issued photo 
identification. The American Association of People With 
Disabilities estimates that nearly 4 million disabled Americans 
would not be able to cast a ballot under the regime set up by 
H.R. 4844. Students and low-income Americans will be similarly 
disenfranchised. Native Americans living on tribal lands often 
do not have street addresses, and centuries-long cultural 
traditions prevent many in Indian Country from having their 
picture taken.
    While ID requirements will lead to unprecedented national 
disenfranchisement, proof of citizenship requirements are even 
more unworkable. To date, Arizona is the only state that has 
implemented a proof of citizenship requirement for voter 
registration and the results are devastating. Maricopa County, 
the largest county in the state, routinely rejects 30 percent 
of all voter registrations because they lack a proof of 
citizenship. In addition to being discriminatory, this lacks 
common sense. Americans are not in the habit of carrying proof 
of citizenship. In fact, many of us do not even have it. 
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, only 25-27 percent 
of eligible Americans have passports, the most common proof of 
United States citizenship. Those who cannot afford the $97 it 
costs to obtain a passport must be able to produce a valid, 
state issued birth certificate which can cost up to $40. While 
Americans may not be able to locate their birth certificates, 
many were never issued one. Many older Americans have never 
been issued a state birth certificate, particularly African 
Americans seniors born in the south. Of course, only 
naturalized citizens receive naturalization papers. Replacing 
or obtaining any of these documents takes money, time and, 
frequently, travel--all of which the constitution does not 
envision as prerequisites voting.
    In the past decade, we have seen exceedingly close federal 
elections. These hotly contested national contests have exposed 
the crumbling infrastructure of our electoral system. Americans 
are demanding change and there is plenty that needs to be done, 
but instead of trying to confuse these feelings with fabricated 
flaws in the democratic process, it is Congress's 
responsibility to ensure that we have a model system of 
choosing our elected officials. We must seriously address the 
real problems with how we conduct our elections. Instead, 
passing H.R. 4844 will dishonor the Americans of generations 
past as well as our heroes of today who have risked their lives 
to promote our commitment to a responsive democracy around the 
world. Americans deserve your attention on making the system 
more dynamic and responsive, not on removing countless eligible 
Americans in search of phantoms of fraud.
            Sincerely,
                                        Barbara R. Arnwine,
                                                Executive Director.
                                ------                                

                               People for the American Way,
                                                    August 3, 2006.
House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Representative: On behalf of the more than 900,000 
members and activists of People For the American Way, we urge 
you to stand up for the right of all citizens to fully 
participate in our democratic society and oppose measures, such 
as Proposition 200 or other proof of citizenship or voter 10 
requirements, that seek to erect barriers to the ballot. Our 
American democracy is one of inclusion that thrives on the 
diversity of our populace and the full participation of its 
citizenry. Overly burdensome and unnecessary voter ID and proof 
of citizenship requirements are an anathema to this ideal and 
only serve to alienate and disenfranchise eligible citizens.

Election Fraud

    Fraud takes many forms. While proponents of Proposition 200 
and other voter 10 requirements claim to be addressing the 
existence of massive ``voter fraud,'' particularly by illegal 
immigrants, to date, there are no credible reports of 
significant fraud to support the need for such restrictive 
proposals. While it is true that the integrity of the electoral 
process must be protected, this can only be done by addressing 
actual problems that truly serve to undermine voter confidence. 
This necessarily includes procedures and actions by individuals 
and election administrators that will prevent eligible voters 
from participating in the electoral process. Voter intimidation 
and harassment of voters at the polls are some of the more 
obvious forms of activities that disenfranchise voters and 
contribute to fraud in our election process. Other actions such 
as election officials removing eligible voters from the 
registration rolls, the destruction of voter registration cards 
because of registrants' political affiliation, or the mass 
challenging of minority voters at the polling places are other 
fraudulent activities that must be addressed. Any definition 
that is not sufficiently broad to include such activities 
prevents decision makers from devising appropriate solutions.

Proof of Citizenship Requirements

    Proof of citizenship requirements are unnecessary. Those 
registering to vote are already required to take an oath of 
citizenship. The extra requirement for providing documents only 
creates an additional hurdle for voters.
    Unfortunately, proposals to require proof of citizenship 
are often a way to disguise racist and anti-immigrant sentiment 
and only serve to disenfranchise eligible citizens. This is 
because proponents know that proof of citizenship requirements 
are impossible for members of some communities to acquire and 
very hard for others. For instance, in certain parts of the 
country, elderly African Americans and many Native Americans 
were born at home, under the care of midwives, and do not 
possess birth certificates. People of color, people with 
disabilities, elderly people, young people, and low-income 
citizens are among the demographic groups least likely to have 
documents in their possession to prove citizenship. Furthermore 
for victims of natural disasters like hurricane Katrina it may 
be impossible to obtain birth certificates or other documents 
because they have been destroyed.
    Legislation such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 
Help America Vote Act have made it easier for all citizens to 
vote, and have resulted in increased voter participation by 
Latinos and other minorities. This progress should be continued 
and we should not allow retrogressive proposals like 
Proposition 200 or others to turn back the progress of these 
significant civil rights laws.

Voter Identification Requirements

    Restrictive voter ID requirements are similarly unnecessary 
and harmful. Like proof of , citizenship requirements, such 
voter ID requirements impose a severe burden and are likely to 
disenfranchise poor, minority, elderly and young voters, who 
are less likely to have photo identification and move more 
frequently. The data is clear:
           Approximately 6 to 10 percent of the 
        American electorate does not have any form of state 
        identification.
           African Americans are four to five times 
        less likely than whites to have photo identification.
           Young adults (age 20-29) move almost 6 times 
        more frequently than adults over 55, and minorities 
        move 50 percent more frequently, than whites.
           In Georgia, it is estimated that nearly 40 
        percent of seniors lack photo identification.
    Instead of addressing unsubstantiated voter fraud, such 
restrictive voting measures erect barriers to the ballot and 
are likely to be enforced in discriminatory ways against poor 
and minority voters to intimidate, misinform, stigmatize, and 
ultimately suppress the vote.

Real Solutions

    Even if fraud were a problem, there are positive steps that 
states can take to lessen the threat of fraud and protect the 
integrity of the ballot box without risking disenfranchising 
voters, such as implementing statewide voter registration 
databases as mandated by HAVA. Additional ``fraud-protection'' 
measures could include accurate cleansing of voter registration 
rolls, verification of voters' unique identifying numbers, in-
person affirmation, signature comparison, and finally, the 
vigorous prosecution of any cases of election fraud. These are 
real solutions to actual documented problems.

Conclusion

    Since the 2000 Presidential Election, our sister 
organization, People For the American Way Foundation has been a 
leader in the Election Protection Coalition along with its 
allies the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law and 
the NAACP. Integral to ElectionProtection was the deployment of 
thousands of volunteers across the country to serve as poll monitors to 
assist voters and document the problems voters faced as they attempted 
to exercise their right to vote. The data collected from volunteers and 
voters through reports from the field and through the Election 
Protection Hotline clearly evidence a need for election officials to 
address the real problems created by voter harassment and intimidation, 
the lack of machines at low-income and minority poll sites, improperly 
trained poll workers and the creation of overly burdensome voter 
registration procedures by partisan election officials just to name a 
few. These are the real problems that deserve the priority of election 
officials. Only then, can we truly maintain the integrity of our 
electoral system and protect the right to vote of all eligible 
citizens. Voter ID and proof of citizenship proposals are simply forms 
of a 21st century poll tax that have no business in our electoral 
process. The right to vote is fundamental and Congress should be 
focused on ways to open the franchise to all eligible citizens. PFAW 
looks forward to working with Congress to protect this right to vote 
for all Americans.
    Sincerely,
                                   Ralph G. Neas,
                                           President.
                                   Tanya Clay House,
                                           Director, Public Policy.
                                ------                                

                                 Protect the Right to Vote,
                                                    August 2, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers, Chairman,
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald, Ranking Member,
Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
We the undersigned organization write to urge the United States 
House of Representatives Committee on House Administration to 
fully consider the disenfranchising effects of Arizona's 
Proposition 200. Already, Proposition 200 has forced election 
officials to prevent thousands of voters from being included on 
voter registration rolls because they did not produce proof of 
citizenship, including many eligible voter registration 
applicants. Proposition 200 will also disenfranchise countless 
eligible Arizonans during this fall's critical election cycle 
by requiring strict voter identification at the polling place. 
These restrictive provisions are rationalized by a few 
anecdotal stories of ineligible voters casting a ballot; 
however, all evidence suggests current state, federal and local 
laws have been successful in preventing this deplorable 
behavior while protecting the fundamental rights of eligible 
citizens.
    Unlike the isolated incidents of ineligible people 
attempting to vote, the disfranchising effects of proof of 
citizenship and restrictive voter identification requirements 
will make American elections less secure by unfairly 
influencing election results. The bottom line is Proposition 
200 is terrible for Arizona; expanding its reach will be 
devastating for our country. As a partnership between Arizonans 
and national advocates who are dedicated to ensuring that all 
eligible citizens have an equal opportunity to participate in 
the political process, we write in opposition to the expansion 
of Proposition 200. We urge this committee to focus its 
attention on safeguarding the opportunity of all eligible 
Americans to meaningfully participate in the political process 
and not to restrict the rights of our fellow citizens based on 
exceedingly rare occurrences of ineligible voters casting a 
ballot.
    Photo ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements may sound on 
the surface like a good idea. There is nothing wrong, in and of 
itself, with taking steps to ensure that voters are eligible to 
vote and that they are who they claim to be. But the provisions 
of Proposition 200 are a misguided approach that inherently 
disenfranchises large numbers of legal voters. We call your 
attention to a number of reasons why, instead of safeguarding 
elections, strict ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements will 
ultimately undermine confidence in the fairness of the 
outcomes:

Proof-of-Citizenship Requirements: A 21st Century Poll Tax

    Citizens should not have to pay a fee to register to vote. 
Proof-of- citizenship requirements invariably put the burden--
including the financial burden--on citizens themselves. While 
it would be ideal if all U.S. citizens had documents such as a 
passport, a birth certificate, or naturalization papers readily 
available, the truth is that many do not--which means that many 
citizens would have to pay for them.
    A birth certificate usually costs $10 to $15. According to 
the Department of Bureau of Consular Affairs, only 25-27 
percent of eligible Americans have passports, which now cost 
$97. Naturalization papers, if they are lost or damaged and 
need to be replaced, cost $210. Proof-of-citizenship 
requirements generally do not help citizens who don't have the 
money to pay for these documents. This means that exercising 
the constitutional right to vote can become ``unaffordable'' 
for many citizens which is completely unacceptable in a 
democratic society that relies upon full participation of its 
citizenry.
    Proof of citizenship may be impossible for some people to 
obtain, and very hard for others. In certain parts of the 
country, for example, elderly African Americans and many Native 
Americans were born at home, under the care of midwives, and do 
not possess birth certificates. People of color, people with 
disabilities, the elderly, young, and people who live in 
poverty are among the groups least likely to have documents to 
prove they are U.S. citizens.
    Proof-of-citizenship requirements are working--to keep 
legal voters from registering. Since Arizona implemented Prop 
200, more than 15,000 voter registration applicants have been 
rejected in Maricopa County alone for failure to provide proof 
of citizenship. In Pima County, sixty percent of new 
registrants--all eligible voters--were initially rejected. 
Similar proof-of-citizenship requirements, if imposed in other 
state or by Congress, would result in eligible voters being 
turned away on a nationwide scale.
    Current laws work when properly enforced. Falsely claiming 
citizenship and voting fraudulently have long been federal 
offenses. Proof-of-citizenship requirements will only penalize 
U.S. citizens who want to exercise their right to vote.

Voter Fraud: A Surprisingly Rare Problem

    There is no question that election misconduct exists, 
including improper purges of eligible voters, distributing 
false information about when and where to vote, stuffing of 
ballot boxes, and tampering with registration forms. But there 
is no evidence that the type of fraud cited in support of photo 
ID requirements--individual voters who misrepresent their 
identity at the polls--is anything but an anomaly.
           In Ohio, a statewide survey found four 
        instances of ineligible persons voting or attempting to 
        vote in 2002 and 2004, out of 9,078,728 votes cast--a 
        rate of 0.00004 percent.
           Despite the invocation of fraud as support 
        for the new Georgia law, Secretary if State Cathy Cox 
        stated that in her ten-year tenure, she could not 
        recall one documented case of voter fraud involving the 
        impersonation of a registered voter at the polls.
           Nationwide, since October 2002, 86 
        individuals have been convicted of federal crimes 
        relating to election fraud (including several offenses 
        not remedied by ID requirements), while 196,139,871 
        ballots have been cast in federal general elections.

Voter ID Requirements: Discouraging Voters, Enabling Discrimination

    Restrictive voter ID requirements are more likely to 
disenfranchise people of color, the elderly, individuals with 
disabilities, rural voters, young people, the homeless, low-
income people, frequent movers, married women, and persons in 
large households. A recent study by the Georgia Secretary of 
State found that nearly 700,000 Georgians--1 in 7 voters--do 
not have either a driver's license or non-driver state issued, 
ID, and the Department of Transportation estimates that between 
6-12 percent of voters nationally do not have government issued 
photo ID. A number of other studies have documented that 
certain segments of the population are far less likely to have 
photo ID than other Americans. A Univ. of Wisconsin study found 
that nearly 50% of African American and Latino men in Milwaukee 
do not have government-issued photo ID.
    Restrictive ID requirements are the equivalent of a poll 
tax. This was, in fact, reiterated by the federal district 
court during the debate over Georgia's new Photo ID 
requirement. By mandating that voters provide photo 
identification, most ID laws would require voters to pay for 
photo ID, if they don't already have it. Getting the required 
forms of ID, such as drivers' licenses and passports, costs 
money and time away from work--and transportation is 
particularly complicated for voters with disabilities. The same 
is true of getting the supporting documents required to obtain 
ID. As a result, not all eligible voters in this country can 
afford to purchase photo ID, and few legislative proposals 
suggest any realistic way to help them out.
    Even if they have valid ID, many eligible voters will be 
turned away. Voter ID requirements place an inordinate amount 
of discretion in the hands of overworked (and usually unpaid 
and sometimes poorly trained) poll workers. Deciding whether a 
voter matches or does not match the photo in an ID card--which 
can often be many years old--is a very subjective process and 
easily prone to mistakes or worse. Because many voter ID laws 
do not explain how disputes over the validity of an ID card 
should be handled, and because they often keep voters who don't 
have ``valid'' ID from obtaining provisional ballots, they can 
easily open the door to widespread racial and ethnic 
discrimination at polling places. Even under the more lenient 
requirements of the Help America Vote Act, ID provisions are 
often implemented in a discriminatory way. According to the 
nation's largest nonpartisan exit poll of Asian Americans, 
nearly 70% of Asian voters were asked for ID in states where 
110 ID was required.
    Voters with valid ID can be turned away for more benign 
reasons as well. If an ID card such as a driver's license does 
not contain the voter's current address, for example, which is 
true of millions of Americans, he or she is likely to be turned 
away from the polls. In Wisconsin, 97% of all students do not 
have their current address on their photo ID. If an eligible 
voter forgets to bring ID, some jurisdictions would keep him or 
her from obtaining a provisional ballot (and proving his or her 
identity before the ballot is counted). In doing so, they 
undermine an important ``safety net'' under the Help America 
Vote Act.

Conclusion

    As evidenced most recently by our strong and enthusiastic 
support of the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott 
King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 
2006, our organizations believe that the right to vote, and to 
have votes accurately counted, is the most important civil 
right of all. Rigid and costly voter ID and proof-of-
citizenship requirements, while appealing on the surface, 
represent one of the greatest threats to fair and equal voting 
rights today. As such, we urge you to join us in strongly 
opposing any proposal--such as the Carter-Baker Commission 
recommendations, H.R. 4844, or similar measures in the states--
that would in practice amount to a poll tax and erect barriers 
to the ballot against lawful voters. We should be in the 
business of encouraging full participation of our citizenry and 
not developing ways to limit the right to vote.
    Thank you for your consideration. If you have any 
questions, please contact Linda Brown of the Arizona Advocacy 
Network, Jonah Goldman of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil 
Rights Under Law or Rob Randhava of the Leadership Conference 
on Civil Rights.
            Sincerely,
    National Civil & Voting Rights and Labor Organizations:
    ACORN.
    Advancement Project.
    Alliance for Retired Americans.
    American Civil Liberties Union.
    American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (AFL-CIO).
    Asian American Justice Center.
    Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
    Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote).
    Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
    Common Cause.
    Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action.
    Hispanic Federation.
    Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).
    Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
(NAACP).
    National Council of La Raza.
    National Disability Rights Network.
    National Education Association.
    National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.
    National Voting Rights Institute.
    People For the American Way.
    Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
    Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF).
    Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
    United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries.
    United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and 
Society.
    U.S. PIRG.
    State/Local Civil & Voting Rights and Labor Organizations:
    Aguila Youth Leadership Institute.
    American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
    Arizona Advocacy Network.
    Arizona Consumers Council.
    Arizona Hispanic Community Forum.
    Arizona Students' Association.
    Emigrantes Sin Fronteras.
    Interfaith Worker Justice of Arizona.
    Intertribal Council of Arizona.
    La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).
    League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson.
    New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc./NYPIRG.
    Project for Arizona's Future.
    SEIU Local 5 Arizona.
    Somos America/We Are America.
                                ------                                

                                    Mary G. Wilson,
               League of Women Voters of the United States,
                                                     July 20, 2006.
    Members of the House of Representatives: H.R. 4844, the so-
called ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006,'' introduced 
by Representative Hyde (R IL), would create new barriers to 
voting by eligible citizens by requiring photo identification 
at the polling place and documentary proof of citizenship in 
the voter registration process. The League of Women Voters 
strongly urges you to oppose H.R. 4844.
    As an organization that conducts voter registration 
throughout the country and that encourages voter participation 
by all citizens, the League is deeply concerned that H.R. 4844 
would undermine our own activities as well as those of other 
organizations and individuals seeking to boost citizen 
participation in our nation's democracy.
    Voting is the most fundamental expression of citizenship. 
The expansion of the franchise to include all Americans 
regardless of race, ethnicity or sex is one of the great 
successes in the evolution of American democracy. Breaking down 
barriers to citizen voter participation--from literacy tests to 
the poll tax has been a constant battle for those who believe 
that every citizen should be able to exercise their right to 
vote.
    H.R. 4844 would turn back the clock and erect unnecessary 
barriers to voter participation. Many Americans simply do not 
have documentary proof of citizenship and photo ID that would 
allow them to exercise their right to vote if H.R. 4844 were to 
become law. A recent study by the Secretary of State of Georgia 
reports that nearly 700,000 of Georgia's registered voters do 
not have either a driver's license or a state-issued ID. This 
is consistent with national figures from the Department of 
Transportation estimating that 6-12 percent of voters 
nationally do not have government-issued photo ID.
    The costs of obtaining proof of citizenship and photo ID 
would discourage voter participation. Some have appropriately 
likened such requirements to the poll tax because of the costs 
of obtaining a driver's license or passport. Supporting 
documents for ID, such as a birth certificate, can also impose 
real costs in both time and money.
    Photo ID requirements disproportionately affect the 
elderly, young people, racial and ethnic minorities, persons 
with disabilities and others. A number of studies have shown 
that certain segments of the population are far less likely to 
have ID than other Americans.
    The implementation of ID requirements can cause problems 
for eligible voters. In Indiana, veterans were blocked from 
voting when poll workers refused to accept their Veterans 
Administration medical cards as sufficient ID. In addition, the 
process of determining whether a person matches their photo ID 
can be very subjective and open to discrimination.
    Again, the League of Women Voters urges you to oppose H.R. 
4844.
                                ------                                

                              Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
                                     Sacramento, CA, July 11, 2006.
Hon. Vernon J. Ehlers, Chairman,
House Administration Committee, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald, Ranking Member,
House Administration Committee, Washington, DC.
    Dear Hon. Vernon J. Ehlers and Hon. Juanita Millender-
McDonald: Protection and Advocacy Inc (PAI) is a non-profit 
agency which, since 1978, has been advocating for and 
representing the legal and human rights of Californians with 
disabilities. PAI is writing in strong opposition to H.R. 4844 
for the adverse impact it will bear on this disenfranchised 
community.
    Just as Congress, through the enactment of the Help America 
Vote Act has responded to our nation's demand to remove the 
structural inequities to the electoral process, H.R. 4844, 
under the guise of electoral reform, will be setting up new 
roadblocks for many communities, including individuals with 
disabilities, to exercising their most precious and fundamental 
constitutional right in our democracy--the right to vote. The 
bill's requirement that all eligible voters in the country must 
produce proof of citizenship in order to register to vote and a 
photo ID in order to cast their ballot may appear innocuous. 
But when considered in light of its unsupported premise and the 
actual harm it is certain to cause, the bill should be 
withdrawn.
    H.R. 4844 is predicated on a notion that there is 
widespread voter fraud across the country caused by the illegal 
participation of persons not eligible to vote. Aside from its 
unfortunate racial/cultural insinuations, the bill's foundation 
lacks veracity. Its proponents cannot point to either a 
government or a reliable privately-generated report or study 
establishing the presence of nationwide electoral 
irregularities, and particularly the alleged prevalence of 
voter fraud by non-citizens, necessitating draconian measures 
as those envisioned in H.R. 4844.
    H.R. 4844 will also have harmful consequences for 
individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities 
continue to rank among the most disenfranchised people in our 
society. While recently, increasing attention is being paid to 
the identification of the socia-economic reasons for this 
disenfranchisement, there is a long road ahead for reversing 
the course on this systemic problem. And, H.R. 4844 will only 
exacerbate this electoral disempowerment.
    First, there are the problems of segregation. Because of 
their disability and a social system that cannot address their 
unique needs in an integrated environment, vast numbers of 
individuals with disabilities live in institutions or 
restrictive living arrangements. For many individuals with 
disabilities, both physical and social isolation is an 
unfortunate norm in their daily life. They have little, and 
often no, access to general information about even the day-to-
day events that occur in society, let alone the latest 
burdensome elections requirements of H.R. 4844. Most will 
likely learn about these additional requirements only at a 
future election when their request to register to vote is 
denied or when they are prevented from casting their ballot at 
the polls.
    Isolation typically comes at a high cost to these 
individuals as they lack both personal resources and the 
assistance that could compensate for that deficiency in order 
to manage and deal with personal affairs, papers and effects. 
For persons living in seclusion, locating and rummaging through 
personal files in search of proof of citizenship and a photo 
ID, which they have had no occasion to need, is typically not 
feasible. Likewise for them, attempting to apply for a lost 
birth certificate or a new passport for which they must 
navigate through government agencies and procedures, which most 
people in society find daunting, is an impossible task. The 
lack of accessible transportation options compounds this 
problem. The consequence of H.R. 4844 for these and so many 
others who face similar barriers will thus be further 
alienation from the electoral process.
    Added to the difficulties with replacing proof of 
citizenship is the cost associated with it. Regrettably, many 
people with disabilities still live on wholly inadequate public 
assistance programs, particularly supplemental security income 
(SSI), which pays for the most basic and lowest standard of 
living in our society. In California, SSI recipients struggle 
to afford just their ever-increasing housing costs and often 
have nothing left for expenses not related to daily necessities 
such as the cost of replacing a birth certificate or acquiring 
a passport. The same is true for those living in health care 
facilities who only receive a very small monthly personal 
expense allowance. H.R. 4844 will therefore have a significant 
chilling effect as individuals on public assistance cannot, and 
will not, sacrifice meeting their daily living needs just to 
obtain one or more documents that they have never had to have 
in order to exercise their constitutional right to choose their 
representatives.
    For these reasons, we oppose H.R. 4844 and urge all 
interested persons to voice their oppositions to this very 
harmful bill.
    Sincerely,
                                      Taymour Ravandi, Esq.
                                ------                                

                                                      AARP,
                                                     June 27, 2006.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, House Administration Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Representative Millender-McDonald: AARP submits this 
letter for the record of your Committee hearing on June 22, 
2006, regarding voter ID requirements for elections. AARP has a 
longstanding commitment to full citizen participation in the 
democratic process at the federal, state and local level, and 
for that reason AARP has supported electoral reform at the 
federal level--i.e., enactment of the National Voter 
Registration Act (NVRA), the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the 
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), and reauthorization of 
the Voting Rights Act (VRA). AARP also conducts extensive voter 
education efforts in each of the 53 U.S. states and territories 
in which it has offices.
    In addition, AARP attorneys represent U.S. citizens aged 
50+ who are in danger of disenfranchisement at the federal or 
state level, and AARP has participated in various advisory 
capacities to support citizen empowerment through meaningful 
opportunity to exercise the franchise.
    AARP attorneys are currently serving as one of the counsel 
for plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging--burdensome and 
unreasonable state laws in Georgia (GA) and Arizona (AZ). These 
laws will, in effect, limit rather than expand citizen 
participation in the electoral process through unnecessarily 
restrictive requirements. In these jurisdictions, state 
legislatures or ballot initiatives have sought to enact laws 
that have elevated proof requirements for voters to register 
(AZ) and to vote in person (GA and AZ). These laws are based on 
assertions of a threat of fraud which lack concrete basis in 
fact and unfortunately serve to heighten tensions among voters 
divided by race, language and ethnicity. These new state laws 
and implementing rules will significantly limit opportunities 
to register and/or vote. Many persons who are qualified to vote 
but do not have ready access to documents--such as birth 
certificates, driver's licenses and passports that never have 
been deemed necessary in the past may lose the fundamental 
right to vote.
    AARP is particularly concerned that such rules will prevent 
many eligible older voters, voters with disabilities (who may 
be unable to obtain the requisite photo or citizenship ID) and 
low income voters (who may not be able to afford such ID) from 
exercising their right to vote. For example, an estimated 
675,000 registered voters in GA have no driver's license, 
according to Georgia's Secretary of State. Such laws adversely 
affect older voters who (1) no longer drive and do not need 
licenses; (2) do not now travel or never did and therefore have 
no passport; or (3) are persons without birth certificates 
(e.g., Southern blacks or some Native Americans whowere not 
allowed in white hospitals that provided documentation). At a time when 
democratic elections are being conducted for the first time in many 
nations throughout the world, any unnecessary erosion in access to the 
ballot in the world's oldest electoral democracy should be 
unacceptable. On behalf of older Americans who have largely shaped the 
values of our democracy, we urge great care to ensure that the basic 
right to vote is not trampled in an effort to address unproven 
allegations of voting abuse.
    Sincerely,
                                   David P. Sloane,
                                  Senior Managing Director,
                                 Government Relations and Advocacy.
                                ------                                

                                              Common Cause,
                                                     June 26, 2006.
Chairman Vernon Ehlers,
Ranking Member Juanita Millender-McDonald,
House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Representatives Ehlers and Millender-McDonald: We, the 
``undersigned groups, are writing to communicate our opposition 
to the bill introduced by Representative Henry Hyde, H.R. 4844, 
the ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006,'' which would 
require a national ID in order to be able to vote.
    This bill is a ``solution'' in search of a problem. No 
election-fraud research has pointed to a significant problem 
vis-a-vis illegal aliens attempting to vote.
    However, this bill does include a number of provisions that 
will diminish the ability of American citizen to legitimately 
participate in the voting process. In states with Election Day 
Registration--which enjoy higher than average voter turnout--
this would prove to be an enormous bureaucratic headache, as 
clerks and registrars are forced to assess the validity of 
citizenship papers, a task for which they are not currently 
trained.
    The requirement to present a national identification card 
when voting turns election workers, the vast majority of whom 
are temporary employees or volunteers, into a virtual police 
force empowered to bar Americans from exercising their right to 
vote. Lines outside polling places would become much longer, 
ultimately driving down turnout, as those who cannot devote 
several more hours of their day to voting simply will not vote 
at all. Additionally, the requirements in this bill would also 
abridge the independence of states in setting their own ID 
requirements.
    There is no federal statute allowing states to demand 
voters disclosure their Social Security numbers. Forcing 
Americans to get a photo ID (state drivers' licenses are 
invariably tied to an SSN) to vote is akin to requiring 
Americans disclose their SSN to vote--which would be a clear 
violation of Section 7 of the federal Privacy Act of 1974.
    If someone or some group is motivated enough to want to 
participate illegally in a U.S. election, chances are they will 
find a way of getting the necessary documents. Meanwhile, 
Americans will struggle to find long-ago issued social security 
cards, birth certificates, or even getfingerprinted by the 
local DMV under orders from Homeland Security. Let us not forget the 9/
11 hijackers were in this country legally, and had legally obtained 
documents.
    With a huge number of U.S. citizens already choosing not to 
vote, it seems counterproductive to put even more hurdles in 
their way. There are better ways to get a handle on the 
immigration problem than forcing Americans and state 
governments to jump through even more regulatory hoops.
            Sincerely,
    American Policy Center.
    The Multiracial Activist.
    Ohio Taxpayers Association & OTA Foundation.
    Fairfax County Privacy Council.
    Velvet Revolution.
    Cyber Privacy Project.
    Republican Liberty Caucus.
    The Rutherford Institute.
    Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR).
    Concerned Foreign Service Officers.
    Common Cause.
    www.libertycoalition.net.
    www.commoncause.org.
                             Congress of the United States,
                                     Washington, DC, June 22, 2006.
Hon. Vernon J. Ehlers,
Chairman, House of Representatives,
Committee on House Administration, Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald
Ranking Member, House of Representatives,
Committee on House Administration, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
As Hispanic Members of Congress, we would like to express our 
concerns with the hearing entitled, ``You don't need papers to 
vote? Non-Citizen Voting and ID Requirements in U.S. 
Elections.'' It is regrettable that in selecting this title for 
the hearing, two non-related issues are now linked in the 
public's mind-- non-citizens and voting fraud, to create 
controversy where none exists.
    We hold a longstanding opposition to identification 
requirements as part of the voting process. For some time now, 
we have heard of the need for a photo identification 
requirement as a necessary tool to combat fraud. However, there 
is no evidence that widespread fraud occurred in any recent 
election, in particular any linked to non-citizens voting in 
federal elections.
    While a photo identification requirement at the polls seems 
entirely reasonable, it is important to note that some people 
simply do not possess photo identification. For example, in the 
Latino community, there are many low-income households in which 
no one possesses a car, and certainly not a driver's license, 
let alone a passport. There are people in such households who 
do not even possess alternatives to photo identification, such 
as utility bills or government checks in their name. For such 
low-income individuals, the cost of obtaining photo 
identification is itself a burden, and such a requirement is 
reminiscent of past barriers to voting.
    Requiring any form of identification at the polling place 
would inevitably create similar barriers and hurdles for racial 
and ethnic minority voters and would have a chilling effect on 
voter participation. Identification provisions have rightfully 
been prohibited because of the disparate impact they have on 
minority electoral participation. In addition, it would have a 
devastating effect on rural voters, as well as the elderly and 
disabled. As responsible policy makers, we need to consider 
whether the proposed remedy to a problem will cause greater 
harm than good.
    Rep. Hyde's legislation, H.R. 4844, goes further than 
simply requiring photo identification and seeks to amend the 
P.L. 103-31, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), to 
make proof of citizenship a federal requirement for voting in 
states that require registration. This presents several 
problems in that if improperly implemented, a voter ID law 
would likely violate other federal voting rights laws such as 
the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Help America Vote Act of 
2002. In addition, states would have to create new forms and a 
new system to capture registrations by mail, otherwise they 
would be non-compliant with the law the bill intends to amend, 
NVRA. Moreover, it would fail to stop fraud that could occur 
via mail-in voting or by the use of absentee ballots.
    Currently, federal voter registration forms allow persons 
to attest to the fact that they are citizens. If H.R. 4844 were 
implemented, the requirements would be akin to imposing a 
modern-day poll tax because citizens would now have to pay to 
secure documents to prove what they have already confirmed via 
attestation, that they are indeed citizens. For persons of 
limited means, the prospect of spending $85 for a passport or 
time locating a birth certificate could easily discourage them 
from voting at all. In the case of naturalized citizens, who 
might attempt to register to vote by mail, this requirement 
would serve as a deterrent. The certificate of citizenship they 
receive from the Department of Homeland Security, which they 
would have to submit as proof, says on its face, ``IT IS 
PUNISHABLE BY U.S. LAW TO COPY, PRINT, OR PHOTOGRAPH THIS 
CERTIFICATE WITHOUT LAWFUL AUTHORITY.'' Any naturalized citizen 
would be in violation of one law in an attempt to comply with 
another. No individual should be put in a position to have to 
make that choice.
    We urge you to consider the risks inherent in 
identification requirements and to oppose this bill.
            Sincerely,
                    Charles A. Gonzalez.
                    Grace Flores Napolitano.
                    Ruben Hinojosa.
                    Joe Baca.
                    Hilda Solis.
                    Luis V. Gutierrez.
                    Raul M. Grijalva.
                    Linda Sanchez.
                                ------                                

                                                      SEIU,
                                     Washington, DC, June 21, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chair, House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald:
    On behalf of the Service Employees International Union's 
(SEIU) 1.8 million members, I urge you to oppose the ``Federal 
Election and Integrity Act of 2006'' (H.R. 4844) sponsored by 
Representative Henry Hyde. This bill overreaches in its 
attempts to deal with the surprisingly rare problem of voters 
misrepresenting their identity at the polls. H.R. 4844 proposes 
extreme solutions that would result in the disenfranchisement 
of thousands of voters and will undermine confidence in 
election outcomes.

Voter Fraud: A Surprisingly Rare Problem

    There is no question that election misconduct exists, 
including improper purges of eligible voters, distributing 
false information about when and where to vote, stuffing of 
ballot boxes, and tampering with registration forms. But there 
is no evidence that the type of fraud cited in support of photo 
ID requirements--individual voters who misrepresent their 
identity at the polls--is anything but an anomaly.
           In Ohio, a statewide survey found four 
        instances of ineligible persons voting or attempting to 
        vote in 2002 and 2004, out of 9,078,728 votes cast--a 
        rate of 0.00004 percent.
           Despite the invocation of fraud as support 
        for the new Georgia law, Secretary of State Cathy Cox 
        stated that in her ten-year tenure, she could not 
        recall one documented case of voter fraud involving the 
        impersonation of a registered voter at the polls.
           Nationwide, since October 2002, 52 
        individuals have been convicted of federal crimes 
        relating to election fraud (including several offenses 
        not remedied by ID requirements), while 196,139,871 
        ballots have been cast in federal general elections.

Photo ID Requirements: Discouraging Voters, Enabling Discrimination

    Photo ID requirements disproportionately impact people of 
color, rural voters, young people, the homeless, low-income 
people, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, frequent 
movers, and persons in large households. A recent study by the 
Georgia Secretary of State found that nearly 700,000 
Georgians--1 in 7 voters--do not have either a driver's license 
or a non-driver state issued ID and the Department of 
Transportation estimates that between 6-12 percent of voters 
nationally do not have a government issued photo ID. A 
University of Wisconsin study found that nearly 50% of African 
American and Latino men in Milwaukee do not have government 
issued photo identification.
    Requiring photo ID of voters is the equivalent of a poll 
tax. By mandating that voters provide photo identification, 
H.R. 4844 would require voters to pay for photo ID, if they 
don't already have it. Getting photo ID, such as drivers' 
licenses and passports, costs money and time. The same is true 
of the supporting documents required to obtain photo ID. Not 
all eligible voters in this country can afford to purchase such 
ID, and H.R. 4844 doesn't suggest helping them out.
    Even if they have photo ID, many eligible voters will be 
turned away. Photo ID requirements place an inordinate amount 
of discretion in the hands of overworked (and usually unpaid) 
poll workers. Deciding whether a voter matches or does not 
match the photo in an ID card--which can often be many years 
old--is a very subjective process and easily prone to mistakes 
or worse. Because H.R. 4844 does not explain how disputes over 
the validity of an ID card would be handled, and because it 
would keep voters who don't have ``valid'' ID from obtaining 
provisional ballots, it could easily open the door to 
widespread racial and ethnic discrimination at polling places. 
Even without H.R. 4844, ID provisions are often implemented in 
a discriminatory way. According to the nation's largest 
nonpartisan exit poll of Asian Americans, nearly 70% of Asian 
voters were asked for ID in states where no ID was required.
    Voters with photo ID will likely be turned away for more 
benign reasons as well. If an ID card such as a driver's 
license does not contain the voter's current address, for 
example, which is true of millions of Americans, he or she is 
likely to be turned away from the polls. In Wisconsin, 97 
percent of all students do not have their current address on 
their photo identification. If an eligible voter forgets to 
bring identification, H.R. 4844 would keep him or her from 
obtaining a provisional ballot and proving his or her identity 
on a later date before the ballot is counted. As such, it would 
undermine an important ``safety net'' established under the 
Help America Vote Act.

Current laws target voting fraud--new proof of citizenship requirements 
        do not

    Proof of citizenship requirements are working--to keep 
legal voters from registering. In the first six months of 2005, 
as a result of Arizona's Proposition 200, more than 5,000 
Arizona citizens had their voter registrations rejected for 
failing to provide adequate proof of citizenship.\1\ In Pima 
County, 60 percent of new registrants--all eligible voters--
were initially rejected. The similar proof of citizenship 
requirement in H.R. 4844 would result in eligible voters being 
turned away on a nationwide scale.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Elvia Diaz and Robbie Sherwood. Prop. 200's Effect Minimal, 
Arizona Republic, June 5, 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current laws are already extremely tough on noncitizens who 
try to vote. Falsely claiming citizenship and voting fraud have 
long been federal offenses. In addition, ever since U.S. 
immigration laws were reformed in 1996, immigrants who try to 
vote are automatically given a one-way ticket out of the 
country, with no criminal conviction necessary. Proof of 
citizenship requirements will only penalize U.S. citizens who 
want to exercise their right to vote.
    Americans believe strongly that Election Day provides an 
opportunity to actively engage their leaders and voice their 
concerns. Risking the foundation of our democracy is too great 
a cost to pay when the evidence does not substantiate the 
claims the ``Federal Election and Integrity Act of 2006'' 
purports to fix.
    SEIU is available to work with the Committee to address 
real reforms that would help improve our elections systems. 
Please contact, Stephanie Luongo, with any questions.
            Sincerely,
                                            Alison Reardon,
                                           Director of Legislation.
                                ------                                

                             Congress of the United States,
                                     Washington, DC, June 21, 2006.
Hon. Vernon J. Ehlers,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers: On behalf of the Democratic Women's 
Working Group, we write to bring to your attention an 
unintended consequence of various proposals before your 
Committee, which are intended to eliminate fraud in Federal 
elections.
    We strongly favor anti-fraud provisions which ensure the 
integrity of Federal elections. It is important, however that 
such provisions do not place unnecessary obstacles or undue 
burdens on ordinary citizens--particularly women. 
Unfortunately, the likely outcome of the various proposals 
before your committee would be to unnecessarily obstruct 
legitimate participation by women voters in Federal elections.
    For example, a woman who, upon marriage, takes the last 
name of her husband, would have to produce more documents than 
her husband in order to register or reregister to vote. A 
married woman who, upon divorce, uses her birth name 
thereafter, would potentially have an even greater burden. A 
poor woman born in a rural setting outside of a hospital might 
never have received a birth certificate. A woman head-of-
household, whose home and records are destroyed by fire, flood, 
hurricane, or other disaster, may be unable to produce the 
necessary records to register or vote--not because she is not a 
citizen--but because of the obstacles these various proposals 
put in her way. If that working mother had to choose between 
spending available time and resources obtaining documentation 
so that her children could attend school, and using the time to 
document herself so that she can register or vote, she would be 
forced to sacrifice her own fundamental voting right as an 
American.
    These are not speculative obstacles or situations--they are 
real and are repeated year in and year out. While preventing 
fraud in elections is a worthy goal which we support, the 
Committee must find a way to preclude fraud withoutobstructing 
citizens, particularly women, from exercising their Constitutional 
rights. Obstructing these rights, in the pursuit of a perfect system of 
election administration, harms women as surely as denying women the 
right to vote in the first place.
    Thank you for taking our views into consideration as your 
committee proceeds with this issue.
            Sincerely,
                                   Hilda L. Solis,
                                           Chair, Democratic Women's 
                                               Working Group.
                                   Lois Capps,
                                           Vice Chair, Democratic 
                                               Women's Working Group.
                                ------                                

                                                    MALDEF,
                                                     June 21, 2006.
Hon. Vernon Ehlers,
Chairman, House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.,
Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald,
Ranking Member, House Administration Committee,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Ehlers and Ranking Member Millender-McDonald: 
On behalf of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational 
Fund (MALDEF), and the Southwest Voter Registration Education 
Project (SVREP), we write to express our strong opposition to 
the ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006'' (H.R. 4844), 
sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL). MALDEF is a national legal 
organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the civil 
rights of Latinos in the United States, and SVREP educates 
Latino communities about the democratic process, the importance 
of voter registration, and voter participation. Our 
organizations have grave concerns that the proposed legislation 
would deny the franchise to untold numbers of American citizens 
otherwise eligible to vote, and that its burdens would be borne 
disproportionately by the poor, the elderly, and racial and 
ethnic minorities.
    H.R. 4844 would require, for federal elections beginning in 
2006, proof of citizenship from every voter who registers 
through the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), who votes 
in a state that does not require registration, or who registers 
in a state that allows same-day voter registration. The 
legislation would also require voters to present photo 
identification before receiving a ballot including a 
provisional ballot.
    Given the cost and difficulty of obtaining citizenship and 
identification documents such as passports, birth certificates, 
or driver's licenses, legislation mandating these documents to 
register or to vote amounts to an impermissible ``poll tax;'' 
it would require otherwise qualified voters to essentially pay 
a fee as a condition of voting, in violation of the Twenty-
Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme 
Court, in Harper v. Virginia State Bd. of Elections, noted that 
voting requirements run afoul of the Constitution whenever they 
make ``the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an 
electoral standard. Voter qualifications have no relation to 
wealth.''
    While the cost of citizenship and identification documents 
may seem negligible to some, it represents a real burden for 
many Americans, Americans who are no less entitled than other 
voters to cast a ballot on Election Day. For the poor, elderly, 
and for racial and ethnic minorities, H.R. 4844 would erect 
significant obstacles to participation in the democratic 
process. Naturalized citizens face particular hurdles: a lost 
or damaged naturalization certificate costs $210 to replace, 
and may require a wait of up to six months for processing by 
the Department of Homeland Security.
    Requiring voters to purchase documents in order to exercise 
the franchise is as much an affront today as it was when the 
Supreme Court issued its Harper ruling forty years ago. H.R. 
4844 presents an unacceptable risk of denying the vote to 
otherwise eligible voters. At the same time, there is simply no 
good evidence that voter fraud by non-citizens constitutes a 
genuine or widespread problem--and certainly not on a scale to 
justify a response that is so costly, heavyhanded, and 
discriminatory in effect. In Arizona, where we have filed a 
legal challenge to a state ballot initiative requiring certain 
forms of identification at the polls, there is not a single 
documented case of a non-citizen intentionally and fraudulently 
registering to vote.
    H.R. 4844 would impermissible burden the fundamental right 
to vote, the basis of our democratic system. On behalf of those 
Americans who would disproportionately bear this burden, we 
urge you not to support this damaging proposal.
            Sincerely,
                                   Shaheena Ahmad Simons,
                                           Acting D.C. Regional 
                                               Counsel, MALDEF.
                                   Antonio Gonzalez,
                                           President, Southwest Voter 
                                               Registration Education 
                                               Project.

https://www.congress.gov/109/crpt/hrpt666/CRPT-109hrpt666.pdf

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