FACT CHECK: Are Non-Citizens Being Registered To Vote In California?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram claims California is registering non-citizens to vote and is not participating in the “Federal Election Integrity Program.”

Verdict: False

There is no statewide law allowing non-citizens to vote nor is there a “Federal Election Integrity Program.” A judge overturned San Francisco’s ordinance that allows non-citizen parents to vote in school board elections, the ruling is currently not enforced.

Fact Check:

Ohio became the most-recent state moving to ban non-citizens from voting in elections, according to the Associated Press. Six other states, including Arizona and Florida, have amended their constitutions to prevent non-citizens from partaking in elections, the outlet reported.

The Instagram image claims California is registering non-citizens to vote. “Now that California is registering non-citizens to vote and has refused to Cooperate with the Federal Election Integrity Program, all votes from California should be nullified and Federal Representatives from the State be removed from Congress for the benefit of all the states,” the post in the image states, appearing to stemming from musician Kid Rock’s Twitter account.

California is not registering non-citizens to vote. In order to register to vote in California, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, a California resident, 18 years or older, not be a felon and not be declared mentally unfit to vote by a court, according to the California secretary of state.

The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles did mistakenly register to vote 23,000 people in 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times. Among those 23,000 people, all of whom had registrations cancelled, 1,600 did not intend to register to vote, the outlet reported.

San Francisco allows non-citizen parents to vote in school board elections, according to the San Francisco Board of Elections.  San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard B. Ulmer struck down the ordinance, stating it violated the state constitution, though an appeals court stayed the ruling until after the November 2022 elections, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

There is no such program known as the “Federal Election Integrity Program.” The post is likely referring to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was created in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump to address “improper voter registrations, improper voting, fraudulent voter registrations, and fraudulent voting.”

The commission, which was dissolved in January 2018, sought voter information from states. In total, 44 states and the District of Columbia refused to hand over certain information, according to CNN. The California secretary of state at the time, Alex Padilla, cited privacy concerns and the Trump administration’s promotion of unsubstantiated voter fraud claims in the 2016 election in refusing to provide the information. (RELATED: Do The Senators Who Voted To Confirm Kavanaugh Represent 44 Percent Of The US Population?)

“California does not allow noncitizens to vote in elections. Eligible voters must be 18, U.S. citizens and California residents. We are unaware [of] the Federal Election Integrity Program,” Joe Kocurek, a spokesperson for the California Secretary of State’s office, told Check Your Fact in an email.

Check Your Fact previously addressed this claim in 2020. The claim has been circulating since 2018, according to Factcheck.org.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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