Civil Rights Groups Letter in Opposition to SAVE Act

View PDF of this letter here.

July 9, 2024

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States; the Declaration for American Democracy, a coalition of local, state, and national organizations working to strengthen U.S. democracy; and the undersigned 145 organizations, we write in strong opposition to the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act.

Congress has a pivotal constitutional responsibility to safeguard free and fair elections and to ensure all Americans have the freedom to vote. The SAVE Act represents a dangerous departure from fulfilling this vital duty. The bill’s requirement of documentary proof of American citizenship to register to vote in federal elections is wholly based on falsehoods and, even worse, seeks to promote fear-mongering and divisive rhetoric. Instead of proceeding with this legislation, Congress should take actions that will help voters and promote democracy such as passing legislation that will strengthen protections against discrimination in voting and expand access to the ballot for all communities.

The SAVE Act is both unnecessary and dangerous. Our electoral system already deploys processes to ensure that our elections are secure and that only eligible voters are participating in our democracy. Voters in every state are already required to affirm or verify their citizenship status when registering to vote. State election officials already have in place existing systems to verify an individual’s voter eligibility and ensure voter rolls are accurate.

Moreover, federal law already prohibits noncitizens from voting in federal elections. Every single state bans noncitizens from voting in state elections. These protections have proven very effective, given that there is simply no evidence of widespread noncitizen voting in elections. Indeed, it defies logic that non-U.S. citizens would risk their immigration status, the potential of criminal prosecution, future opportunity for naturalization, and freedom for themselves and their families by unlawfully committing an affirmative act to vote in an election in which they are prohibited from participating. The penalties for registering or voting as a non-U.S. citizen include imprisonment or deportation. The risks for any non-U.S. citizen to vote in a federal election are serious and steep, and our laws already effectively prevent significant unlawful voter registration and voting.

Introduction and advancement of this bill is the most recent example of what has been a string of recent efforts to make voter registration and voting more difficult, particularly for voters of color. False claims of non-citizen voting have been disingenuously used to enact more onerous voter identification requirements, limitations on voter assistance in languages other than English, and attempts to spread misinformation about voting. This legislation seeks to intimidate members of immigrant communities and communities of color from exercising their lawful right to vote. It also would make it harder for voters of color and naturalized citizens to register to vote and would prevent their full participation in democracy. These are already communities who are unfairly targeted by anti-immigrant policies at the federal, state, and local level. Congress should be doing everything possible to encourage and promote the political participation of these citizens, rather than seeking to diminish it through threats and fear tactics.

Legislation like the SAVE Act is intended to elicit irrational fear of the growing number of citizens of color. Congress should instead act to ensure that every eligible U.S. citizen has the freedom to vote unimpeded by discriminatory rules rooted in fear and division. We urge you to instead focus on passing real pro-voter reforms to ensure that everyone can fully participate in our democracy. If you have any questions, please contact Leslie Proll, senior director of the voting rights program at The Leadership Conference, at [email protected].


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Declaration for American Democracy

18by Vote

Accountable US

Advancement Project


All About The Ballots

All On The Line

All Voting Is Local Action

America’s Voice

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

American Civil Liberties Union

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees

American Humanist Association

Arab American Institute (AAI)

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club

Black Voters Matter Fund

Blue Future

Brennan Center for Justice

Campaign Legal Center

Carolina Jews for Justice

Center for Common Ground

Center for Living & Working, Inc.

Center for Popular Democracy

Chicago Survivors

Chispa LCV


Clean Elections Texas

Coalition on Human Needs

Common Cause

Common Defense

Communications Workers of America

Courage for America

Defend Democracy

Defend the Vote Action Fund

DemCast USA

Democracy 21

Democracy Maine

Democracy Matters

Democracy SENTRY


Detroit Disability Power

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power and Light


End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund

Fair Count

Fair Elections Center

Faith Commons

Faith in Public Life Action

Fix Democracy First

FLIC Votes

Free Speech For People

Friends of the Earth

Georgia Coalition for the Peoples Agenda

Get Money Out – Maryland

Government Information Watch

Greenpeace USA


Helping Hands Outreach Services of Mississippi

Hip Hop Caucus

Indivisible Santa Fe

Interfaith Alliance

Japanese American Citizens League

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

JustLeadership USA

Lawyers for Good Government


League of Conservation Voters

League of Women Voters of the United States


Memphis APRI

Missouri Voter Protection Coalition



Muslims for Community, Action and Support (MCAS)

N.C. For the People Action


NALEO Educational Fund

National Action Network

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

National Association of Social Workers

National Community Action Partnership

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

National Education Association

National Employment Law Project

National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)

National Organization for Women

National Urban League

Native American Rights Fund

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New Georgia Project Action Fund

Newton Action Alliance

Out of Many 1 Advocacy

People For the American Way

People Power United

Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Pride at Work

Project On Government Oversight

Protect Democracy

Public Citizen


Reproductive Freedom for All


Safer Country


Secure Elections Network

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund

Stand UP Alaska

Stand Up America

State Voices

Storied Analytics LLC

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The National Vote

The Workers Circle

Transformative Justice Coalition

Transparency International U.S.



Union of Concerned Scientists

Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

United Church of Christ


Voter Participation Center


Voters Rights and Protection Taskforce

Voto Latino


We Are All America

Westchester for Change

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

Women’s March

WV Citizen Action

WV Citizens for Clean Elections

WV FREE (West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equity)