Warning: Don’t Register to Vote if You’re Not a US Citizen

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Warning: Don’t Register to Vote if You’re Not a US Citizen

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In the coming months leading up to the election in November, there will be a push to get as many people to register to vote as possible. In addition to the typical voter registration when renewing your license at the DMV, you may also encounter people asking you to register in parking lots, store entrances, or busy sidewalks. These people usually have the best of intentions, but their eagerness to get people to register can lead to huge problems for people that are not citizens of the U.S.

Registering to vote for a Presidential election in the United States, in the eyes of USCIS, can represent a false claim to U.S. citizenship as only U.S. citizens are permitted to vote in federal elections. In 2021, USCIS updated their policy guidance to clarify that they will not penalize applicants that unknowingly or unwillingly registered to vote. Additionally, USCIS also indicated that if the voter registration application did not require the applicant to indicate that he or she was a U.S. citizen, that will not be considered a false claim to U.S. citizenship. But in either scenario, USCIS will require proof that the registration was made unknowingly, unwillingly, or without a question of U.S. citizenship. If you’re unable to prove one of these factors, you could be denied a future citizenship application or even be placed into removal proceedings.

Therefore, if someone approaches you asking you to register, just let them know you’re not a U.S. citizen and decline to register.

To check whether you’ve ever previously registered to vote in Colorado, you can input your information here: https://www.coloradosos.gov/voter/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml. If you find yourself listed as a registered voter on this website and you are not a U.S. citizen, schedule a consultation with us to help determine what effects this may have on your immigration status.

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