How Illegal Aliens Could Decide the Election

Concern has been expressed about illegal aliens and other non-citizens being able to vote because of fraud and the laxity of the voter registration system. But illegal voting is not the main influence that illegal aliens could have on the presidential election and other races.

With the presidential race very close and speculation that the result could be a split between the winner of the popular vote and the winner in the Electoral College, it should be remembered that the Electoral College is composed of electors from each state and that the number of electors is determined by the number of Senate and House seats in each state. The Electoral College gives some added clout to small states because each state has two senators. But the number of votes in the Electoral College that reflects the number of House members for each state is based on the Census count of residents, and that includes illegal aliens and long-term nonimmigrants such as high-tech temporary workers.

What this means is that states that have large concentrations of illegal aliens, like California, get more seats in the House of Representatives and, therefore, also in the Electoral College than they would if the distribution of seats in the House were based on only legal residents or on U.S. citizens or on registered voters.

When we looked at this issue in 2007 based on the 2000 Census, we concluded that California would have six fewer seats in Congress if apportionment were based on the number of U.S. citizens. Nationally, a total of nine House seats would have changed hands. That obviously would have resulted in a similar change in the composition of the Electoral College. In a close election, this much change in the votes in the Electoral College could change the result of an election. The FAIR study can be found here.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    I don’t know if an “immigration reform act” is already in the works, but at the outset there is one specific problem that this act must cover. Illegal aliens, i.e. Mexicans sneaking across American boarders. In no way, can they call themselves immigrants. We have hundreds of laws in this country that are enforced. How did the law against entering another country illegally become so feeble that it seems to be on its way to being eliminated? Because we’re being overrun? That’s no excuse. Washington has become too accommodating to the millions of mexicans living here that don’t even bother learning the English language anymore. Too many companies that make products we all use are happily translating label information into Spanish. When you call a business, it’s only been a few years since the first message you hear is, “press one for English.” Why should we press a button to speak our own language? Fortunately, that seems to have pretty much phased out.

    I hate to say it, but to other countries, it probably seems that we’ve become a bunch of wimps. Anything that displeases a specific group is quickly struck down. Gay marriage is a classic example. State after state is falling in line to legalize marriage for homosexual couples, because the powers that be don’t want to take a chance of being voted out of office. It appears that Washington doesn’t want to offend anyone, even though it’s helping the bankrupt this country. Do these illegal aliens pay taxes? I sincerely doubt it. The first thing that the young women do after crossing the border is get pregnant. They know their child will be born an American citizen. These unemployed women are able to go and apply for Public Aid, because no state’s going to allow a child to go hungry.

    There is a sign on the bottom of the Statue of Liberty that says, “give us your poor, your tired, etc…”words to that effect. That was meant for a different time when true European immigrants who helped to build this country came across the Atlantic because by ship was the only way to get to America. I’d like to have that sign removed; after all, who sees it anymore. And it certainly doesn’t apply anymore.

  2. avatar


    Perhaps you can address my question. The immigration discussion revolves around “illegal” immigration, ie those who enter or stay here in a way that breaks the law. I agree that No country worth living in should tolerate it.
    And there are those that argue it takes jobs from american citizens, which it must.

    Regarding immigration and jobs, I have yet to hear much outrage and legislation to curb the litteral giving away of jobs by the government through its H1-B visa program. Job openings in the US are filled by foreigners who are recruited in thier home countries and brought here to fill this positions by US employers using the H1-B visa.

    I applied for a job at a local hospital in NJ and was told there were no job opening. Later I met a Filipino guy in my field who told me that that same hospital was agressively recruiting him in the Filipines. Are you focusing any effort on this socially and econmonically destructive program? Who is?

  3. avatar

    The importance of IA Latino Voting Has Not Been a Big Issue

    Poor people generally do not vote, any ethnic group. But, having said that…..the Electorial College and numbers of Congressmen based on a state’s population is another issue altogether and could likely be a big election issue.

  4. avatar

    This election Illegal immigrants will vote, The Next election they will start running their own candidates for office. Then down the road a little they will run their own candidate for President. You laugh and think this is funny and can’t happen? It already does and it’s the end of the middle class in the U.S. coming fast. The hair brain excuses politicians give for not making voter I.D.’s mandatory at the polls Is the only thing funny, But not funny for too long.