Raffensperger, Arizona secretary of state at odds over noncitizen voting

Secretaries of State Brad Raffensperger (R-Ga.) and Adrian Fontes (D-Ariz.) disagreed over noncitizen voting during a panel discussion on “Meet the Press” set to air Sunday.

MSNBC’s Kristen Welker hosted Raffensperger, Fontes, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) and Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt (R) for a wide-ranging interview about threats they’ve received, misinformation, artificial intelligence and more.

Welker asked Raffensperger why the issue of noncitizens voting in the election is such an urgent matter if its quite rare and illegal.

“Because I believe only American citizens should be voting in our elections. And I ran back in 2018 saying the same thing. I’m the first secretary of state in Georgia to ever do 100 percent citizenship verification,” Raffensperger responded.

He said the state found about 1,600 people that attempted to register to vote but they could not find citizenship verification.

“So, my fellow Georgians asked me, ‘Are noncitizens voting in Georgia?’ I can say, ‘No, they aren’t’ because we’ve checked it,” Raffensperger said.

Fontes addressed Raffensperger saying he proved his own point with that example.

“You did an audit, and you found that there were attempts. But none of those folks were actually registered, and none of those folks actually voted. And that means that elections have been safe and secure from noncitizen voting in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and across the country,” Fontes said. “So, I think this is a red herring.”

Fontes noted that Arizona has a noncitizen voting law and the state’s standards are “higher than everybody else’s” but there are people making allegations that they are not.

“We really have to look at the facts,” Fontes said.

Benson said it’s “good news” that everyone can at least agree that they don’t want noncitizens voting.

“So, we’re all committed to that, and I think it’s really important for folks to know that regardless of our party affiliation, we’re doing all that we can and more to ensure, as the facts show in all of our states, that only U.S. citizens are voting,” she said.

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