Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called on Congress Tuesday to pass a constitutional amendment banning non-U.S. citizens from voting.

“American leaders should be elected by American citizens,” Raffensperger said during a news conference at the Georgia Capitol. “It’s as simple as that.”

Raffensperger spoke out Tuesday hours before President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were due in Atlanta to drum up public support for Democrat-backed voting rights legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate.

The Republican secretary of state’s remarks also came a day after state Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, introduced a state-level constitutional amendment to prohibit noncitizen voting. Miller is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.

Non-U.S. citizens already are banned from voting in Georgia under state law. While no states allow noncitizens to vote, New York City recently enacted an ordinance permitting noncitizens to vote in its municipal elections.

Raffensperger criticized Biden and congressional Democrats for pushing legislation he said would amount to a federal takeover of state and local elections.

He said the two bills being pushed by Democrats would virtually eliminate voter ID requirements, allow third parties not affiliated with election officials to distribute and collect absentee ballots and prohibit election agencies from purging voter rolls within six months of a federal election.

“Make no mistake: This is an attempt to weaken election integrity in the guise of voting rights,” he said.

Besides the constitutional change to prohibit noncitizens from voting, Raffensperger also proposed establishing voter ID requirements nationwide, banning third-party “ballot harvesting” and shortening the blackout period for maintaining voter rolls.

Democrats have criticized election overhaul laws passed in Georgia and other states since the 2020 elections as an effort by Republicans to use voter suppression to reverse their electoral losses.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please log in, or sign up for a new, free account to read or post comments.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.