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 Jan. 11 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 non-citizen 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 non-citizens to vote, New York City recently enacted an ordinance permitting non-citizens to vote there.
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 non-citizens 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.