What seems like common sense to Republicans and many independents is not to many members of the Democratic Party. The idea of having only U.S. citizens vote in their elections is preposterous to politicians on the left.
Democrats may ask whether this is really because the Republicans are so heartless that they would not allow those of different cultures to vote.
Republicans may ask whether this is really because it may be beneficial to Democrats if noncitizens were eligible to vote in general and local elections.
These questions aside, 17 states, through Republican ranks in their legislatures, now have the power to put citizenship voting on their respective state ballot without a single Democrat vote: Arkansas, Indiana, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.
Montana would have been part of the list, but its Legislature failed to take up any measures this year. The state now needs to wait until 2025 to introduce another citizenship voting bill.
North Carolina should also be on this list. A bill has already been introduced in its Legislature changing constitutional language to ensure only U.S. citizens vote. Missouri proponents had their efforts blocked in the 2023 legislative session.
Missouri citizens-only proponents, along with their counterparts in Oklahoma and Utah, are conducting efforts to make things work for them in their 2024 sessions.
Iowa and Wisconsin are ahead of the curve in prohibiting noncitizens from participating in elections through their amendments that will be on the ballot next year.
The “Iowa Require Citizenship to Vote in State Elections and Allow 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Primaries Amendment” is on the state ballot in 2024. A “yes” vote from an Iowa resident would be in favor of a measure that prohibits noncitizens from voting, as well as allows 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections. These 17-year-olds must be 18 years old by the time of the general election to participate in the primaries.
Wisconsin, a crucial state in general elections since 2016, may also have the “Wisconsin Citizens Voting Requirement Amendment” on their ballot. The amendment would ensure that only U.S. citizens above the age of 18 can vote in federal, state, local, and local elections.
The Wisconsin proposal would stand in stark contrast to 11 cities in Maryland, two cities in Vermont, San Francisco (in school board elections), Washington, D.C., Oakland, and New York City — all of which allow noncitizens to vote in their elections. Bills have even been introduced in Illinois to allow noncitizens to vote statewide.
Last week, Democrats in the Texas state House of Representatives blocked a citizen-only voting amendment after it overwhelmingly passed in the state Senate, 29-1. This occurred after 58 Democrats voted “present” rather than “yes” or “no,” ultimately blocking the amendment.
There is little hope for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as it would require two-thirds of the House and Senate for ratification — not to mention three-fourths of the states.
Some good news for Republicans would come from the states that have already passed bills ensuring only U.S. citizens vote.
Between 2018 and 2022, North Dakota, Alabama, Florida, Colorado, and Louisiana passed these bills, averaging 75% of the vote from citizens in the referendum.
Arizona and Minnesota have already enacted wording in each of their state constitutions, making it clear that only U.S. citizens can vote in state and local elections.
Paul Jacob, a strong proponent of citizen-only voting and president and CEO of the Liberty Initiative Fund, is optimistic about the movement. Jacob sees positives from both sides of the political spectrum as “Big swaths of Democrats [voters] are in favor of prohibiting noncitizens to vote.”
Christopher Savino is a rising senior at Rutgers University in New Jersey and a summer intern at Newsmax’s Washington, D.C., office.
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