Can Illegal Immigrants Register to Vote in Florida? PolitiFact Says, Not Likely

TAMPA (2011-11-4) -

Do you need to prove your citizenship before you can register to vote in Florida? A Florida state Senator says no, but PolitiFact Florida rates his claim as “Mostly False.”

In a recent redistricting hearing, state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, said that new districts should not be drawn to benefit illegal Hispanic immigrants.

"Before we design a district anywhere in the state of Florida for Hispanic voters, we need to ascertain that they are citizens of the United States,” he said.

“If we know registered voters are people who have proven their citizenship then that's a completely different story, but I'm not aware of any proof of citizenship necessary before you register to vote," Hays said.

Sharockman says Hays has a point. It is possible to register to vote by signing a sworn affidavit, without showing a passport or birth certificate or any other sign of citizenship.

But more than half of Floridians register to vote when they receive or renew their driver’s license – and only people who are here legally can get a driver’s license.

Also, he said PolitiFact considered the sworn affidavit as a kind of proof. He said risking a felony conviction to vote is not something most illegal immigrants would do.

Finally, PolitiFact spoke with two elections officials who said illegal immigrants voting is not a problem in their area.

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