Raffensperger Calls On Legislature To Pass Amendment To Prevent Noncitizens From Voting

August 11th, 2021

(Atlanta) – Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called Wednesday for the General Assembly to pass an amendment to the state constitution to ensure that only U.S. citizens be allowed to vote in Georgia elections.

“Only American citizens should be voting in our elections, that’s why I’m calling on the General Assembly to act and pass a constitutional amendment ensuring this is the standard for generations to come,” he said.

Raffensperger’s statement comes after the Vermont legislature overrode a veto by Gov. Phil Scott just a year ago, paving the way for noncitizens to vote in municipal elections in the cities of Montpelier and Winooski. Two cities in Massachusetts passed resolutions calling for noncitizens to vote there, and proposals for noncitizen voting have recently been introduced in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Illinois.

Noncitizens already can vote in municipal elections in San Francisco and nine Maryland cities. As Georgians in cities across the state prepare for this year’s municipal elections, they should have the peace of mind in knowing it won’t be the last time their ballots will be limited to neighbors who are citizens, according to Raffensperger.

There are an estimated 22 million noncitizens living legally in the United States. U.S. Census figures to be released Thursday will reveal the exact number living in Georgia.

A constitutional amendment similar to Raffensperger’s proposal failed on a party-line vote in March 2020. The General Assembly needs to look beyond party and pass it when it convenes again, the Secretary of State said.

“Once people raise their hand and take the oath of citizenship, I welcome them to register to vote and participate in our democratic republic,” he said.