Only Citizens Vote Model Policy

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

The Only Citizens Vote model policy underscores states' fundamental role in election oversight, ensuring only U.S. citizens are allowed to vote. In American federalism, states hold primacy over state, local, and many aspects of federal elections. This model policy mandates citizenship for voting in all public elections, including primary, general, federal, state, and local elections, as well as on constitutional amendments and ballot initiatives. While constitutional amendments to state constitutions are the preferred solution, they can take multiple years to enact. Thus, immediate model legislation is crucial to maintain election integrity while the amendment process is underway.

Only Citizens Vote Model Policy

Be it enacted by the Legislature of this state:

Section 1. It is unlawful for any individual who is not a citizen of the United States to vote in any and all public elections on any and all matters. This includes but is not limited to any primary election, general election, election for Federal office, election for State office, election for local office, and any public election that includes voting on constitutional amendments, ballot initiatives, or referenda.

Section 2.  Only a citizen of the United States shall be registered to vote in this State.  The chief state election official of the State shall verify the citizenship status of all persons on the voter registration list of this State, by comparing the current voter registrations with the citizenship data available from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and the Help America Vote Verification (HAVV) information system maintained by the Social Security Administration.  The chief state election official shall also make use of other available databases containing citizenship status in order to ensure that only US citizens are registered to vote in the State.

Section 3. Any registrant in the state’s voter registration list whose status as a US citizen cannot be confirmed from a comparison with one or more state, multistate, or federal databases shall be removed from the list of eligible voters.  The individual shall be notified in writing of the inability of the chief election official to confirm the individual’s citizenship status and shall be provided the opportunity to present evidence or documentary proof of citizenship to be restored to the eligible voter list.

Section 4. From and after the effective date of this Act, before any voter registration application is accepted and added to a county or statewide voter registration list, the applicant’s citizenship status must be confirmed through one or more of the databases described in Section 2.

Section 5. Any willful infraction of this law shall constitute the crime of election fraud and be punishable to the full extent of this State’s election statutes.