Two years and two million in taxpayer dollars later, Chicago is preparing to launch a program to provide residents, including illegal aliens, with municipal ID cards that could open the door to voter fraud.
When the program was unveiled, city officials promoted it as a means “to unlock opportunities for all Chicagoans and all of the great things our city has to offer” and to serve as a valid ID for the homeless, noncitizens and formerly incarcerated. At the time of the announcement, it was not clear the card could be used by individuals to register to vote and as a valid ID when at the polling booth.
The city clerk’s website notes it serves three purposes as “a valid, government-issued ID, a library card, and transit card.” Not mentioned is that it can also be used to register to vote.
The Chicago Tribune reports the Chicago Board of Election Commissioner is planning to accept city IDs as a valid form of identification for voting, which should be welcome news to embattled Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is desperate to improve his approval ratings and image among immigrants.
Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia told WGN Radio confirmed that illegal aliens will be able to use it, just like a utility bill, at the voting polls. Yet, when pressed about the possibility of increasing the chance of noncitizens voting, she deflected attention onto President Trump.
“What is really unfair is that we have a White House spewing misinformation that is really racist,” she said, adding there is no evidence illegal aliens are committing fraud by voting in elections.
She further asserted it was not her “responsibility” to ensure noncitizens were not casting ballots, but that of election officials. She has stated that applicants those applying for a card will be properly vetted, but has provided no specifics on how that would be achieved.
Valencia has also argued the cards won’t increase the chances of voter fraud since voters currently aren’t required to prove they are American citizens under state law.
Other supporters of the ID card counter critics’ concerns by stating that those intent on voting fraudulently could just get another fake ID.
“It’s not changing the state law, and there’s nothing stopping someone from getting a fake ID now and going to try to vote,” said City Council Latino Caucus Chairman Ald. Gilbert Villegas.
The issue of noncitizen voting, however, is not merely part of a rhetorical debate, but a growing problem throughout the nation.
In Pennsylvania, officials discovered a “glitch” in the state’s electronic driver’s licensing system that allowed noncitizens to register to vote when they applied for or renewed their driver’s licenses. A report issued by the state election board showed roughly 100,000 current voters were matched with noncitizen driver’s license holders in the statewide registration database.
And in May 2017, the nonpartisan Public Interest Legal Foundation uncovered evidence that 5,556 noncitizens had been quietly removed from Virginia’s voter rolls. However, at least a third of them had cast votes in at least one previous election.