Many U.S. Voters Lack Access to Documents that Prove Citizenship

( – According to a new survey, one in ten eligible voters lack easy access to documents that prove their citizenship. This comes as Republicans try to prevent non-citizens from voting, which could affect more than just non-citizens.

More than twenty million Americans are unable to locate a passport, birth certificate, or naturalization papers to prove their citizenship to vote. The survey, conducted by the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement at the University of Maryland, the Brennan Center for Justice, Public Wise, and VoteRiders, showed that access to this information for many Americans is nearly impossible. It’s said that almost four million Americans lack access to any form of proof of citizenship.

Donald Trump and his allies have been making the threat of non-citizen voting known across their campaigns. They have continued to push for federal legislation to require some sort of proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections.

Mike Johnson, the U.S. House Speaker, said, “We all know – intuitively – that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections. But it’s not been something that is easily provable.”

Two states have already attempted measures requiring certain documentation, and it has negatively affected many people, including college students and tribal voters. Researchers have also looked into it and found racial disparities in who has access to their citizenship documents.

According to the research, about three percent of voters of color don’t have access to proof of citizenship. Wrote the researchers, “Our estimates are probably conservative measures of impact.” They continued, “While it’s true that most Americans can access these documents, most of us don’t walk around town carrying our passport or birth certificate.”

“Millions of eligible voters lack a current form of photo ID – and it’s not easy to get one,” said Lauren Kunis, the executive director of VoteRiders as she spoke about the difficulty in attaining the required documents.

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