Washington State Automatically Registered Many Illegal Immigrants To Vote

The Washington Department of Licensing received reports of many illegal aliens being automatically registered to vote in the state.

  • Following recent elections, the Department of Licensing in Washington state, commonly referred to as DOL, reportedly received numerous accounts of illegals given the ability to vote in local elections, even in cases where individuals were not U.S. citizens.
  • Dating as far back as November 2018, DOL was receiving complaints of voter registration among illegals.
  • Immigration attorney Vanessa Mathisen from World Relief Spokane claimed many of her clients were “unwittingly getting registered to vote when they get their IDs, apply or receive any state benefits.”
  • “Sometimes we find out because they get a summons for jury duty. Others we do not discover have been registered until they decide to apply for citizenship,” Mathisen said.
  • The attorney noted that after speaking with the Spokane Voter Registration office, the agency said “it’s not a problem if a non-citizen registers to vote.”
  • “It is a problem. I don’t know what’s going on at the DOL counters exactly, but I do know that nearly all of my clients that have been registered to vote do not recall doing so, do not recall whether they were asked if they are a US citizen, and 100% of the time either did not speak English or they did not speak English well enough to understand the questions being posed to them,” Mathisen continued.
  • DOL Technical Operations Consultant Jace Anderson blamed language barriers for illegals automatically registering to vote, saying that the agency “has policies to provide customers with LEP [limited English proficiency] with options and avenues for communication.”
  • Anderson claimed that there is “not much” more that can be done from the department’s side and that “if a customer answers the questions confidently and there is no other indication that there is a significant language barrier, it would not be apparent that the customer did not understand the questions they were asked.”
  • In a follow-up email to Mathisen, DOL wrote that her concerns are under review regarding whether the agency can do anything “within the bounds” of its power to “reduce the occurrence of ineligible voter registrations.”

“Every year we hear from a small number of voters who received a ballot because they accidentally got registered while getting a driver’s license or Washington State ID,” King County Elections Director Julie Wise said.

  • Last week, city officials in Washington, D.C. passed the “Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act,” giving noncitizens and illegal immigrants the right to vote.
  • The bill, introduced by council member Charles Allen, allows illegal aliens over the age of 18 the right to vote in local elections as long as they have lived in the nation’s capital for at least 30 days.
  • “This bill is in line with our D.C. values and this council’s history of expanding the right to vote and welcoming new voices into our political process and government,” Allen said. “Our immigrant neighbors of all statuses participate, contribute and care about our community in our city.”
  • In June 2022, lawmakers in Massachusetts passed a bill giving illegal aliens the right to obtain a driver’s license.
  • The legislation, titled the “Work and Family Mobility Act,” will go into effect on July 1, 2023. Illegal aliens living in Massachusetts will still have to pass both a written and road test before obtaining a license.