Georgia Sec. of State calls for constitutional amendment to strengthen law on non-citizen voting

Georgia's secretary of state urged state legislators Thursday to pass a bill putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot to "clarify" the Georgia law that bans non-citizens from voting.

"Voting is a sacred responsibility for American citizens and everyone should agree that only American citizens should vote," said Sec. Brad Raffensperger.  

If lawmakers pass a constitutional amendment, Georgia voters would also have to approve it.  

Georgia law already prohibits non-citizens from voting, but Raffensperger said he wants to amend the state constitution because of what he labeled as "a disturbing trend" in other states.

"Earlier this year, the Vermont legislature overrode their governor's veto to allow non-citizens voting in municipal elections," Sec. Raffensperger explained.  

According to Raffensperger, Georgia has only had a few, isolated cases of non-citizens trying to vote.  

"Making sure that only American citizens vote was my top priority when I ran for Secretary of State in 2018 and that is why I'm calling on the General Assembly to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot," said Sec. Brad Raffensperger.  

The secretary of state's push may also be linked to the tough re-election fight ahead of him in 2022.  So far, he faces challenges from two fellow Republicans--Congressman Jody Hice and former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle. Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen has also launched her campaign for the role. 

"The only people who are allowed to vote in Georgia are U.S. citizens, and Georgia already has effective safeguards in place to ensure that only eligible voters are able to cast a ballot," Rep. Nguyen said in a statement to FOX 5. "This is yet another example of the Secretary of State posturing to those who are using misinformation to undermine our democracy." 

The earliest Georgia voters would see a constitutional amendment question on their ballots would be in November 2022.  

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