Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act Exposed

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The Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act was adopted by ALEC's Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Task Force, now known as the Public Safety and Elections Task Force, at the Spring Task Force Summit on May 17, 2008 and approved by the full ALEC Board on Directors in June, 2008. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

CMD's Bill Summary

This bill is a solution in search of a problem and a backdoor way of creating a "voter ID" law. First, undocumented (or "illegal") immigrants are already barred from receiving public benefits. Even legal immigrants are severely restricted in the benefits thay can receive (they must pay into the Social Security and Medicare system for ten years before being eligible for those benefits when they retire). Second, there is almost no evidence of undocumented immigrants casting votes in state or federal elections (although some local municipal and school board elections don't require proof of citizenship). Requiring IDs at the polls would do nothing to keep undocumented immigrants from voting in state or federal elections because they don't vote right now; voter ID would, however, have the effect of disenfranchising many elderly people, students, people of color, and others who may not have the required forms of ID.

ALEC Bill Text


Requires that evidence of United States citizenship be presented by every person to register to vote, that proof of identification be presented by every voter at the polling place prior to voting, that state and local governments verify the identity of all applicants for certain public benefits and that government employees report United States immigration law violations by applicants for public benefits. Additionally it requires the submission of documentation demonstrating lawful presence and prohibits self-declaration of lawful presence in the U.S. for certain public programs.

Model Legislation

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Short Title.}

This act may be cited as the "Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act".

Section 2. {Findings and Declaration}

Government has evidence demonstrating illegal immigration is causing economic hardship to states and that illegal immigration is encouraged by public agencies within states that provide public benefits without verifying immigration status. Evidence further suggests that illegal immigrants have been given a safe haven in states with the aid of identification cards that are issued without verifying immigration status, and that this conduct contradicts federal immigration policy, undermines the security of our borders and demeans the value of citizenship. Therefore, the people of this state declare that the public interest of this state requires all public agencies within this state to cooperate with federal immigration authorities to discourage illegal immigration.

Section 3. {Registration form}

(A) The form used for the registration of electors shall contain:

(1) The date the registrant signed the form.
(2) The given name of the registrant, middle name, if any, and surname.
(3) Complete address of actual place of residence, including street name and number, apartment or space number, city or town and zip code, or such description of the location of the residence that it can be readily ascertained or identified.
(4) Complete mailing address, if different from residence address, including post office address, city or town, zip code or other designation used by the registrant for receiving mail.
(5) Party preference.
(6) Telephone number, unless unlisted.
(7) State or country of birth.
(8) Date of birth.
(9) Occupation.
(10) Indian census number (optional to registrant)
(11) Father's name or mother's maiden name.
(12) The last four digits of the registrant's social security number (optional to registrant).
(13) A statement as to whether or not the registrant is currently registered in another state, county or precinct, and if so, the name, address, county and state of previous registration.
(14) A statement that the registrant is a citizen of the United States.
(15) A statement that the registrant will be eighteen years of age on or before the date of the next general election.
(16) A statement that the registrant has not been convicted of treason or a felony, or if so, that the registrant's civil rights have been restored.
(17) A statement that the registrant is a resident of this state and of the county in which the registrant is registering.
(18) A statement that executing a false registration is a class 6 felony.
(19) The signature of the registrant.
(20) If the registrant is unable to sign the form, a statement that the affidavit was completed according to the registrant's direction.
(21) A statement that if an applicant declines to register to vote, the fact that the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.
(22) A statement that if an applicant does register to vote, the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.
(23) A statement that the applicant shall submit evidence of United States citizenship with the application and that the registrar shall reject the application if no evidence of citizenship is attached.

(B) A duplicate voter receipt shall be provided with the form that provides space for the name, street address and city of residence of the applicant, party preference and the date of signing. The voter receipt is evidence of valid registration for the purpose of casting a ballot to be verified as prescribed in this act.

(C) The state voter registration form shall be printed in a form prescribed by the secretary of state.

(D) The county recorder may establish procedures to verify whether a registrant has successfully petitioned the court for an injunction against harassment or an order of protection and, if verified, to protect the registrant's residence address, telephone number or voting precinct number, if appropriate, from public disclosure.

Section 4. {Verification of Registration.}

(A) Except for the mailing of sample ballots, a county recorder who mails an item to any elector shall send the mailing by non-forwardable first class mail marked with the statement required by the postmaster to receive an address correction notification. If the item is returned undelivered, the county recorder shall send a follow-up notice to that elector within three weeks of receipt of the returned notice. The county recorder shall send the follow-up notice to the address that appears on the general county register or to the forwarding address provided by the United States postal service. The follow-up notice shall include a registration form and the information and shall state that if the elector does not complete and return a new registration form with current information to the county recorder within thirty-five days, the name of the elector will be removed from the general register and transferred to the inactive voter list.

(B) If the elector provides the county recorder with a new registration form, the county recorder shall change the general register to reflect the changes indicated on the new registration. If the elector indicates a new residence address outside that county, the county recorder shall forward the voter registration form to the county recorder of the county in which the elector's address is located. If the elector provides a new residence address that is located outside this state, the county recorder shall cancel the elector's registration.

(C) The county recorder shall maintain on the inactive voter list the names of electors who have been removed from the general register pursuant to subsection A or E of this section for a period of four years or through the date of the second general election for federal office following the date of the notice from the county recorder that is sent pursuant to subsection E of this section.

(D) On notice that a government agency has changed the name of any street, route number, post office box number or other address designation, the county recorder shall revise the registration records and shall send a new verification of registration notice to the electors whose records were changed.

(E) The county recorder on or before May 1 of each year preceding a state primary and general election or more frequently as the recorder deems necessary may use the change of address information supplied by the postal service through its licensees to identify registrants whose addresses may have changed. If it appears from information provided by the postal service that a registrant has moved to a different residence address in the same county, the county recorder shall change the registration records to reflect the new address and shall send the registrant a notice of the change by forwardable mail and a postage prepaid pre-addressed return form by which the registrant may verify or correct the registration information. If the registrant fails to return the form postmarked not later than twenty-nine days before the next election, the elector shall be removed from the general register and transferred to the inactive voter list. If the notice sent by the recorder is not returned, the registrant may be required to provide affirmation or confirmation of the registrant's address in order to vote. If the registrant does not vote in an election during the period after the date of the notice from the recorder through the date of the second general election for federal office following the date of that notice, the registrant's name shall be removed from the list of inactive voters. If the registrant has changed residence to a new county, the county recorder shall provide information on how the registrant can continue to be eligible to vote.

(F) The county recorder shall reject any application for registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship. Satisfactory evidence of citizenship shall include any of the Following:

(1) The number of the applicant's driver License or non-operating identification license issued after October 1, 1996 by the Department of Transportation or the equivalent Governmental agency of another state within the United States if the agency indicates on the applicant's driver license or non-operating identification license that the person has provided satisfactory proof of United States citizenship.
(2) A legible photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate that verifies citizenship to the satisfaction of the county recorder.
(3) A legible photocopy of pertinent pages of the applicant's united states passport identifying the applicant and the applicant's passport number or presentation to the county recorder of the applicant's united states passport.
(4) A presentation to the county recorder of the applicant's United States naturalization documents or the number of the certificate of naturalization. If only the number of the certificate of naturalization is provided, the applicant shall not be included in the registration rolls until the number of the certificate of naturalization is verified with the United States immigration and naturalization service by the county recorder.
(5) Other documents or methods of proof that are established pursuant to the immigration reform and control act of 1986.
(6) The applicant's bureau of Indian affairs card number, tribal treaty card number or tribal enrollment number.

(G) Notwithstanding subsection f of this section, any person who is registered in this State on the effective date of this amendment to this section is deemed to have provided satisfactory evidence of citizenship and shall not be required to resubmit evidence of citizenship unless the person is changing voter registration from one county to another.

(H) For the purposes of this section, proof of voter registration from another state or county is not satisfactory evidence of citizenship.

(I) A person who modifies voter registration records with a new residence ballot shall not be required to submit evidence of citizenship. After citizenship has been demonstrated to the county recorder, the person is not required to resubmit satisfactory evidence of citizenship in that county.

(I) After a person has submitted satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the county recorder shall indicate this information in the person's permanent voter file. After two years, the county recorder may destroy all documents that were submitted as evidence of citizenship.

Section 5. {Procedure For Obtaining Ballot By Elector.}

(A) Every qualified elector, before receiving his ballot, shall announce his name and place of residence in a clear, audible tone of voice to the election official in charge of the signature roster or present his name and residence in writing and shall present one form of identification that bears the name, address and photograph of the elector or two different forms of identification that bear the name and address of the elector. If the name is found upon the precinct register by the election officer having charge thereof, or the qualified elector presents a certificate from the county recorder showing that he is entitled by law to vote in the precinct, the election official in charge of the signature roster shall repeat the name and the qualified elector shall be allowed within the voting area.

(B) Any qualified elector who is listed as having applied for an early ballot but who states that he has not voted and will not vote an early ballot for this election or surrenders the early ballot to the precinct inspector on election day shall be allowed to vote.

(C) Each qualified elector's name shall be numbered consecutively by the clerks, with the number upon the stub of the ballot delivered to him, and in the order of applications for ballots. The election judge having charge of the ballots shall also write his initials upon the stub and the number of the qualified elector as it appears upon the precinct register. The judge shall give the qualified elector only one ballot, and his name shall be immediately checked on the precinct register.

(D) Each qualified elector shall sign his name in the signature roster prior to receiving his ballot, but an inspector or judge may sign the roster for an elector who is unable to sign because of physical disability, and in that event the name of the elector shall be written with red ink, and no attestation or other proof shall be necessary. The provisions of this subsection relating to signing the signature roster shall not apply to electors casting a ballot using early voting procedures.

(E) A person offering to vote at a special district election for which no special district register has been supplied shall sign an affidavit stating his address and that he resides within the district boundaries or proposed district boundaries and swearing that he is a qualified elector and has not already voted at the election being held.

Section 6. {Verifying Applicants For Public Benefits; Violation; Classification; Citizen Suits.}

(A) An agency of this state and all of its political subdivisions, including local governments, that are responsible for the administration of federal, state and local public benefits that are not federally mandated shall do all of the following:

(1) Verify the identity of each applicant for those benefits and verify that the applicant is eligible for benefits as prescribed by this section.
(2) Provide any other employee of this state or any of its political subdivisions with information to verify the immigration status of any applicant for those benefits and assist the employee in obtaining that information from federal immigration authorities.
(3) Refuse to accept any identification card issued by the state or any political subdivision of this state, including a driver license, to establish identity or determine eligibility for those benefits unless the issuing authority has verified the immigration status of the applicant.
(4) Require all employees of the state and its political subdivisions to make a written report to federal immigration authorities for any violation of federal immigration law by any applicant for benefits and that is discovered by the employee.

(B) Failure to report discovered violations of federal immigration law by an employee is a class 2 misdemeanor. If that employee's supervisor knew of the failure to report and failed to direct the employee to make the report, the supervisor is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

(C) This section shall be enforced without regard to race, religion, gender, ethnicity or national origin. Any person who is a resident of this state shall have standing in any court of record to bring suit against any agent or agency of this state or its political subdivisions to remedy any violation of any provision of this section, including an action for mandamus. Courts shall give preference to actions brought under this section over other civil actions or proceeding pending in the court.

Section 7. {Eligibility For Public Programs; Documentation; Definition.}

(A) Notwithstanding any other state law and to the extent permitted by federal law, any person who applies for a state administered public program that requires participants to be citizens of the United States, legal residents of the United States or otherwise lawfully present in the United States, shall submit documentation to the entity that administers the state public program demonstrating lawful presence in the United States. Self declaration of lawful presence, even if made under penalty of perjury, is not sufficient by itself to demonstrate lawful presence in the United States.

(B) This section shall be enforced without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin.

(C) For the purposes of this section, "self declaration" means a written or oral declaration without additional proof, even if made under penalty of perjury, that the person is a citizen of the United States, legal resident of the United States or otherwise lawfully present in the United States.

Section 8. {Effective Date.}

Adopted by the Criminal Justice & Homeland Security Task Force at the Spring Task Force Summit, May 17, 2008.

Approved by the full ALEC Board of Directors June 2008.