As a measure requiring proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections is set to make its way across the U.S. House floor later this week, Democrats are being prompted to vote “No” on the new legislation. 

In a recent “whip question,” House Minority Whip Katherine Clark urged Democrats to vote against H.R. 8281—also known as the Safeguarding American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act—which would require applicants to present documentary proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote in federal elections. 

Clark criticized House Republicans for “irresponsibly” questioning election results. 

She also stated that despite deep-dive investigations by conservatives, there has been no evidence of election fraud that the act aims to combat. 

“This would be an extreme burden for countless Americans, including military voters, Native voters, people who have changed their names (including tens of millions of American [sic] women), the elderly, the young, the poor, and naturalized citizens,” Clark wrote in the whip question. 

The SAVE Act was introduced by Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (TX—21) in early May, and discussions have been picking up steam as it is set to make the rounds later this week. 

“In the U.S. House, 104 Republicans have co-sponsored my House version (HR8281) of the @SAVEAct to require proof of citizenship for federal elections. When we vote on the bill this week, we will need all GOP to support,” Roy posted Sunday on X. 

On Friday, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson posted a lengthy X thread detailing what functions the SAVE Act performs. 

According to Speaker Johnson, the measure requires state election officials to inquire about citizenship before administering voter registration forms, requires an individual to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote in federal elections, and empowers state officials to accept a wide variety of different documents that will make it easier for citizens to register.

The legislation also provides states access to federal agency databases, so they can discard noncitizens from voter rolls and confirm citizenship for those lacking proof of citizenship. The Department of Homeland Security will also be directed to determine whether to conduct removal proceedings if someone who is a noncitizen has been identified as having registered to vote in federal elections.

Finally, Speaker Johnson affirmed that DHS must notify a state chief election official whenever someone has been naturalized to ensure the country’s newest citizens can exercise their right to vote.

Tech billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to social media to share his thoughts on the bill. 

“Those who oppose this are traitors,” he posted, retweeting Speaker Johnson. “All Caps: TRAITORS. What is the penalty for traitors again?” 

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.