Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called on the General Assembly Wednesday to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting non-U.S. citizens from voting in state elections.
While such a prohibition already exists in Georgia law, Raffensperger pointed to several other states that are allowing noncitizens to vote.
The Vermont legislature overrode a veto by Gov. Phil Scott last year that paved the way for noncitizens to vote in two cities’ municipal elections. Noncitizens already can vote in municipal elections in San Francisco and nine Maryland cities.
Two cities in Massachusetts have passed resolutions calling for noncitizens to vote there, and proposals for noncitizen voting were introduced recently in New York City and in the states of Washington and Illinois.
“Only American citizens should be voting in our elections,” Raffensperger said Wednesday. “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.”
A constitutional amendment aimed at keeping noncitizens from voting likely would gain strong support from Republican voters in Georgia.
Raffensperger alienated many of those voters last year when he refused to go along with efforts by former President Donald Trump to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia. Trump urged Raffensperger in a telephone call to “find” him the votes necessary to carry the Peach State.
Since then, Trump has endorsed U.S. Rep. Jody Hice’s Republican primary challenge of Raffensperger in next year’s race for secretary of state. Former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle also is seeking the GOP nomination.
A constitutional amendment similar to Raffensperger’s proposal failed in the state Senate in March of last year amid opposition from minority Democrats. Constitutional amendments require two-thirds votes to pass the Georgia House and Senate.