HomeLegislationLouisiana Votes YES On Amendment BANNING Non-U.S. Citizens From Voting In State...

Louisiana Votes YES On Amendment BANNING Non-U.S. Citizens From Voting In State Elections

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Louisiana voters have amended the state constitution in the December 10 runoff election.

Three proposed amendments were on the ballot, one requiring U.S. citizenship to register to vote in Louisiana, and the other two requiring Senate approval of specific appointments by the governor. Voters approved all three.

Voters approved the citizenship requirement, which read, “Do you support an amendment to provide that no person who is not a citizen of the United States shall be allowed to register and vote in this state?”

Out of nearly 430,000 votes cast, 73.4% of Louisiana Residents voted YES to prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting. 113,807 voted no, suggesting that they were in favor of letting non-U.S. citizens vote

The Louisiana-based CBS affiliate KNOE reported that the current state constitution permits all Louisiana citizens to vote but does not explicitly require that voters be a U.S. citizen. Federal law requires voters be American citizens to vote in federal elections for offices like president and Senate, but states and municipalities can allow noncitizens to vote in their own local elections. 

The measure was proposed after Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin pointed out that the current constitutional language could allow someone to interpret the phrase “citizen of the state” to mean “resident of the state.” Because a foreign citizen can be a Louisiana resident, someone could argue that the state constitution allows non-citizens to vote in local elections in Louisiana, he said.

Opponents argued that the ballot measure would create a false narrative that non-citizens are voting in Louisiana. The Secretary of State already requires U.S. citizens to register to vote in Louisiana and after the December 10 vote it will remain that way.

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