Alabama Auditor's Plan to Assure that Only U.S. Citizens Register to Vote
Press Release: AL State Auditor Jim Zeigler
"Only U.S. citizens should vote in U.S. elections." That was the message of Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler to 119 voter registrars from across Alabama at their annual conference in Eufaula Friday.
"With the growing number of immigrants coming into Alabama, tens of thousands a year, we must be sure that only citizens register to vote. I was floored to learn that this is not done, and I insist that it be done," Zeigler told the annual conference of voter registrars.
“Right now, applicants to vote merely check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ beside the question, ‘Are you a United States citizen?’” Zeigler said. “Neither the registrar nor anyone else verifies the truthfulness of that answer. That situation just invites voter fraud by the tens of thousands. This problem will only get worse,” he said.
“We are now studying what is being done in two states that already require verification of citizenship for voter registration – Arizona and Kansas. We ask each of you (local voter registrars) to submit to me any ideas you have for how to confirm U.S. citizenship and safeguard against non-citizens simply lying on the registration form.”
Zeigler, as State Auditor, appoints a voter registrar in 66 of the State’s 67 counties. Only Jefferson County is under a different law and does not include a registrar appointed by the State Auditor. Zeigler said he will require all of his registrar appointees to agree to his new system of verification of U.S. citizenship.
Zeigler’s appointments must be made by Sept. 30, with new registrars taking office Oct. 1, 2015. For that reason, his verification system needs to be in place by September. “There is a false sense of security – a misunderstanding - that the new voter ID law provides proof of citizenship. It does not. A driver license or other valid voter ID can be obtained by a non-citizen,” he said.
Zeigler said that letters or e-mails of interest in appointment as registrar should be sent to his office by July 30. Two other registrars are appointed in each county, one by Governor Robert Bentley and one by Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan. All appointments are effective Oct. 1.
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