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Congressman Boyle Introduces Citizenship Empowerment Act to Provide Voter Registration Forms to New Citizens

July 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) today introduced legislation to require that all newly sworn-in U.S. citizens be uniformly provided voter registration forms at naturalization ceremonies. Boyle’s “Citizenship Empowerment Act” (H.R. 3770) would require officials to provide voter registration forms in the citizenship packets provided to all newly sworn-in U.S. citizens, and allow election officials to set up informational tables outside naturalization ceremonies. The reintroduction of this legislation comes in the wake of President Trump’s recent racist comments.  
“Donald Trump doesn’t get it. America is a nation of immigrants. It is what has made America great,” Congressman Boyle continued, “We must make it easier for our newest citizens to participate in the democratic process. The first step of a truly representative democracy is participation,” said Congressman Boyle. 
Providing a new citizen with a voter registration form at a naturalization ceremony is currently allowed, and in fact conducted in some states, but it is not required by federal law.  This is an obvious disparity, wherein one new U.S. citizen can be sworn-in at one location and immediately given the opportunity to register to vote, while another may have to jump through multiple hoops to track down the necessary paperwork.  
Congressman Boyle is the son of an Irish immigrant and has been an outspoken advocate for protecting and expanding voting rights, both in the Pennsylvania state legislature and the U.S. Congress.