Louisiana Amendment 1 seeks to prevent non-citizens from voting

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A joint resolution passed by both houses of Louisiana state government is about to be voted on in the Dec. 10 statewide special election.

If passed, Amendment 1 will codify into the Louisiana constitution that only US citizens can vote in any level of statewide elections.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Skyline and State Capitol on the Mississippi River.  (Photo by: Visions of America/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Skyline and State Capitol on the Mississippi River. (Photo by: Visions of America/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Visions of America/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Although noncitizens have been barred from voting in federal elections since the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, state and local noncitizen election laws are left up to jurisdictions to decide.

Over the past 26 years, progressive states and localities have pushed the boundaries set forth in the IIRIA.

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Municipalities such as Montpelier, Vermont, have allowed non-citizens to vote in local elections such as school board through a technicality in the Green Mountain state constitution.

More recently, the Washington, DC city council proposed similar legislation allowing noncitizen voting for illegal aliens who have resided in the district for at least 30 days.

There is the typical criticism from the right, with Senator Cruz proposing to withdraw federal funding from the DC government. But opposition also comes from an unlikely source: The Washington Post Editorial Board.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R-La.) aims to make Louisiana the first U.S. state to ban noncitizen voting statewide.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R-La.) aims to make Louisiana the first U.S. state to ban noncitizen voting statewide.
(Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office)

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin defended the citizens-only vote in a statement to Fox News Digital: “This amendment is about common sense. Democrats and Republicans in the Louisiana Legislature, as well as the Editorial Board of the Washington Post, agree: the non-citizen vote is antithetical to who we are as a republic.”

To qualify for the Dec. 10 ballot, the amendment passed by a near-unanimous vote in the Louisiana state Senate and another wide margin in the state House.

Secretary of State Ardoin testified on behalf of the amendment in both the Louisiana House and Senate last year before lawmakers voted.

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As the law currently stands in the Pelican State, only US citizens can register to vote and vote in any state or local election.

However, the same type of loopholes in Vermont’s constitution that municipalities like Montpelier used to their advantage for non-citizen voting are also present in Louisiana’s constitution.

Amendment 1 closes this loophole in Louisiana’s constitution if a majority votes yes on December 10.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R-La.) aims to make Louisiana the first U.S. state to ban noncitizen voting statewide.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R-La.) aims to make Louisiana the first U.S. state to ban noncitizen voting statewide.
(Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office)

Secretary of State Ardoin proposed a paper component to Louisiana elections for audit purposes along with state lawmakers like Sharon Hewitt late last year in hopes of promoting election integrity.

Joel Watson, Secretary Ardoin’s deputy for outreach services, shared in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital that he believes “Louisiana is leading in elections because we have a top-down system, which means the state controls the elections while working with local partners in clerks of courts and registrars of voters. We believe this is a better system because the problems people are concerned about in places like Arizona and in other states are related to problems or failures at the county level. system is bound by Louisiana law.”

Kyle Ardoin was nominated by his fellow secretaries of state to chair the nonpartisan National Association of Secretaries of State, or NASS, in 2021 and completed his term this year.

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If Louisiana voters vote on Amendment 1 to the state constitution on Dec. 10, it will become the eighth U.S. state to ban noncitizen voting statewide, according to the group Americans for Citizen Voting. Ohio voted on a similar measure in the midterm elections earlier this month.

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