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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Louisiana to decide on an amendment allowing only U.S. citizens to vote in the state’s elections

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Voters in Louisiana are going to the polls on Saturday to cast ballots on whether to adopt an amendment to the state constitution to explicitly require that an individual be an American citizen to vote in the state. 

The Louisiana-based CBS affiliate KNOE reported that the current state constitution permits all Louisiana citizens to vote but does not explicitly require that voters be a U.S. citizen. Federal law requires voters be American citizens to vote in federal elections for offices like president and Senate, but states and municipalities can allow noncitizens to vote in their own local elections. 

No part of Louisiana currently allows noncitizens to vote, but the amendment would prevent any municipality or the state from doing so. 

“This amendment makes it clear that voting is restricted to an individual who is both a citizen of the state and the United States,” State Rep. Debbie Villio (R) told KNOE. 

More than half a dozen states in the country specifically prohibit noncitizens from voting. 

Several towns in Maryland and Vermont allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. New York City passed a law to allow noncitizens to vote last year, but a state Supreme Court judge struck it down in June, ruling that it violated the state constitution. 

Louisiana voters will also cast their ballots on whether to amend the state constitution to require state Senate confirmation of the governor’s appointees to the State Civil Service Commission and State Police Commission.

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