Citizen Only Voting Amendment

NOTE: Prior to task force meetings, ALEC posts these legislative member-submitted draft model policies to our website. The draft model policies are then discussed, debated, and voted on by ALEC task force members. Policies that receive final approval by legislators on the ALEC Board of Directors become official ALEC model policy. Draft model policies that fail to become official ALEC model policy are removed from the website.

Summary

There is a movement across the country to allow non-citizens the right to vote in municipal and school board elections. Most state constitutions in the United States provide that "Every" or "All" United States citizens are permitted to vote. This has been identified as the floor of who can vote, meaning that the right to vote cannot be taken away from a United States citizen but that doesn't mean that a non-citizen cannot also be enfranchised. This amendment is intended to ensure that only US citizens are considered eligible voters in states adopting it.

Citizen Only Voting Amendment

Whereas, providing the right to vote to non-citizens in municipal or school board elections is expensive for the municipality because they now need to maintain their own separate voter rolls, an area in which they little experience.

Whereas, when the right to vote is given to non-citizens it puts their ability to become a citizen at risk. If they are accidentally mailed or handed a ballot with state or federal candidates on it and they vote, their opportunity to become a citizen could be derailed.

Whereas, extending the right to vote to non-citizens devalues the work done by those who have become naturalized citizens.

Whereas, there is no evidence that extending the right to vote to a non-citizen encourages them to become a citizen. In fact, there are many examples of people that have become citizens specifically to gain the right to vote.

Whereas, states and localities that allow non-citizen voting have been challenged in court with inconsistent results.

Therefore be it resolved that this state amend the suffrage provision of the State Constitution such that it states that “Only Citizens of the United States” or “No person who is not a citizen of the United States” shall be a qualified elector in any election held within the state.