Georgia Weighs Constitutional Amendment Blocking Noncitizen Voting

Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state in Georgia, is pushing his state’s Legislature to enact stronger election security laws in response to the migrant crisis in the country.
On Monday, Raffensperger released a statement in which he said that the failures of the Biden administration to secure the U.S. southern border with Mexico is a main reason why Georgia must act to prevent foreign nationals from voting in their state elections.

As he said:

“With open borders, citizenship verification for voter registration is more important than ever.”

Raffensperger wants the General Assembly to amend Georgia’s Constitution, adding clarification that only citizens of the U.S. are able to vote in elections there. He said that many liberal organizations have been trying to head to court to ban citizenship verification practices in advance of the 2024 elections.

As Raffensperger said in his statement:

“Organizations like the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda are currently suing to end critical citizenship verification in our registration process, potentially exposing our elections to foreign interference and diluting the power of legally registered voters.

“I’m calling on the General Assembly to take immediate action and pass a constitutional amendment ensuring that no liberal group can leverage the courts to add non-citizens to our voter rolls.”

In the past, the coalition has been able to win lawsuits against Raffensperger for eliminating certain voters from Georgia’s rolls, and for discarding some absentee ballots that had signatures that didn’t match exactly what was on file.

The organization also claimed victory on its website because it helped to thwart some efforts that would’ve reduced the early voting period in Georgia. And they also said that the group petitioned local election boards so that certain polling locations throughout the state wouldn’t be closed down.

Democrat Stacey Abrams — who lost the last two gubernatorial elections in Georgia but has made a national name for herself in voting matters — has led an organization that has opposed measures that would verify citizenship and require voters to show ID. Fair Fight Action, which is what the group is called, has been trying to do this throughout the country.

Raffensperger referred to this in his statement when he said:

“Failed candidates like Stacey Abrams and the organization she founded, Fair Fight, have fought in court to eliminate citizenship verification for Georgia voters, and they continue to fail in court.”

Raffensperger’s office says roughly eight in 10 voters in Georgia are automatically registered to vote at the same time that they obtain their state driver’s license. During that process, the state Department of Driver Services verifies the citizenship status of every applicant.

In addition, Raffensperger has initiated a full audit of citizenship for the voter rolls in Georgia, in coordination with the state Department of Driver Services.
Georgia isn’t the only state that has looked to beef up election security in recent years. Arizona did so in 2022, and even Washington, which is considered a liberal state, did so earlier in 2023.