House Passes King’s Bill Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Vote

May 2, 2007

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Austin – The House of Representatives passed a bill authored by State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) which requires that those who wish to register to vote in Texas must first have their citizenship verified. Yesterday, the bill passed on an initial vote of 89-57 and today received a 88-56 vote on final passage.

King explained, “H.B. 626 is about protecting voter rights and ensuring the integrity of our elections. This bill will help ensure that the votes of U.S. Citizens are not cancelled out by those who vote illegally.”

H.B. 626 requires that applicants born in the United States must provide their city, county, and state of birth on the application form. Applicants born outside of the United States must provide the date and place of their oath of naturalization. With that information, the Texas Secretary of State will electronically verify the citizenship of the applicant in the same manner that they currently verify the applicant’s driver’s license number and/or social security number.

King went on to say, “Under current law, an applicant can check a box which says that they are a citizen, but there is no verification of that claim. H.B. 626 would require that a person’s citizenship actually be verified before they are allowed to vote. Voting is indeed a right, but a right reserved only for U.S. citizens.”

The bill will now move to the Texas Senate for consideration.