Many Georgians may be shocked to learn that our state issues a driver’s license and official identification to foreign nationals nearly identical to what our citizens obtain and use when they exercise their right to vote. The only difference is non-citizens’ cards are stamped with the words “LIMITED TERM” at the top.
Rep Charlice Byrd’s October, 2021 guest column in Insider Advantage Georgia HB 228
As a Georgia legislator, there is one topic that continues to be on the minds of voters from my district and across the state – election integrity. Despite having adopted some election changes in the state earlier this year, there is still an uneasiness about whether we can have a secure election in 2022 and beyond.
With tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing our southern border daily and others overstaying their visas and the federal government failing to uphold the rule of law, it is up to states to protect their citizens and secure their elections.
After the 2020 election debacle, it’s even more alarming that we don’t have a specific state law that outlaws the use of these non-citizen licenses or ID cards from being used as proper identification for voting purposes.
This loophole in election security should be closed without delay because we don’t know how many poll workers are accepting these forms of identification. That’s why I have introduced House Bill 228 with a long list of co-sponsors in the Georgia House. It needs to be voted into law before the 2022 elections.
HB 228 was the target of a great deal of false testimony during its sole hearing earlier this year. It would forbid the acceptance of such licenses and ID cards issued to non-citizens for voting purposes.
Wouldn’t you think this would be a no-brainer? Our Constitution says only US citizens have the right to vote. But there are special interests that once again want to leave that door open.
My legislation would also require the state Department of Drivers Services to add language “BEARER NOT U.S. CITIZEN – NOT VOTER ID” to all licenses and ID cards issued to non-citizens. This would remove any possibility or confusion of acceptance in the voting process in future elections.
To address mail-in voting issues, the DDS would be required to change the numbering system of these licenses and IDs so the first two characters begin with NC for “non-citizen.”
Georgians should know that Rep. Bee Nguyen of Gwinnett County – a candidate for Secretary of State– has introduced a bill to give all illegal immigrants in Georgia a driver’s card and a state ID card. Obviously, she is paving the way for them to vote. That’s something we cannot have and our founders did not intend.
My legislation is simple, common-sense solution to add a degree of security to Georgia’s voting process while alleviating any potential confusion for poll workers and election volunteers.
As we learned with the mail-in ballot crisis last year, it’s always better to have loopholes closed and security in place before an election disaster then trying to mend a crisis once an election is in disarray. This could be one of those preventive steps.
Without election integrity, our nation will have no confidence in our government. Our nation will crumble. We are at a crossroads after the 2020 election, and it is time to do all we can to insure that only those who are legally able to vote cast their ballots. The future of our nation depends upon it.
Byrd is a Republican state representative from Woodstock. She represents District 20 in the Georgia House.