Protecting Against Noncitizen Voting
The American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center to Protect Voters & Their Voices believes that protecting Americans’ right to vote means restricting voting eligibility to adult citizens. United States Elections are for the people of the United States to choose their governmental representatives. Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections. The U.S. Constitution gives the states the power to administer their own elections. Currently, all 50 state constitutions mention citizenship when addressing the issue of who can vote in that state’s elections.¹ These are all noncontroversial facts; unfortunately, some states have recently opened the door to noncitizen voting in some elections, possibly in violation of their own constitutions and laws.² 

Currently, noncitizens are permitted to vote in multiple cities in Maryland and Vermont, New York City, and San Francisco, CA. Some of these allowances are recent, contributing to a disturbing trend towards noncitizens gaining the ability to vote in U.S. elections.³ In the current turbulent climate characterized by a lack of confidence in elections, this trend is pushing in the wrong direction. Elections without strict identification requirements are vulnerable to widespread fraud by voter impersonation and the casting and counting of illegal ballots by ineligible voters.

In 2022 Arizona enacted legislation (HB 2492) requiring documentary evidence of citizenship to register as a voter.4 This law was enacted in response to growing difficulties with illegal votes in the state, and is designed to ensure that all registrants are able to verify that they are, in fact, citizens eligible to vote in U.S. elections in compliance with existing law.5 As Governor Ducey stated in his letter explaining his support for the legislation, “HB 2492 is a balanced approach that honors Arizona’s history of making voting accessible without sacrificing security in our elections.”6 This is a commendable measure to restore confidence in the security of elections in Arizona, but further actions should be taken nationwide to ensure that all state elections reflect the will of citizens whose voices deserve to be heard.

ACUF’s Center to Protect Voters & Their Voices believes that to preserve the integrity of elections, ensure that every lawful vote is counted, and exclude fraudulent and illegal votes, citizenship verification measures should be adopted and enforced throughout the United States.

¹Laws permitting noncitizens to vote in the United States, Ballotpedia, https://ballotpedia.org/Laws_permitting_noncitizens_to_vote_in_the_United_States

²Complaint, Fossella et al v. Adams et al, (January 10, 2022), INDEX NO. 85007/2022 https://prod-static.gop.com/media/documents/85007_2022_VITO_J_FOSSELLA_et_al_v_ERIC_ADAMS_et_al_SUMMONS___COMPLAINT_1_1641837327.pdf.

³Matt Vasilogambros, Noncitizens Are Slowly Gaining Voting Rights, Pew (July 1, 2021) https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2021/07/01/noncitizens-are-slowly-gaining-voting-rights.

4AZ HB2492, signed by governor 3/30/2022 https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/76970

5How More Illegals Started Voting in AZ Elections and How House Bill 2492 Is Going to Fix It, Arizona Free Enterprise Club (February 8, 2022) https://azfree.org/blog/2022/02/08/how-more-illegals-started-voting-in-az-elections-and-how-house-bill-2492-is-going-to-fix-it/.

6Gov. Douglas A. Ducey, Letter to The Honorable Katie Hobbs (March 30, 2022) https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/hb2492_signing_letter.pdf.