Congressional Vote Highlights the Need for a Citizens-only Voting Amendment

A recent vote in Congress highlighted the need to add a citizen-only voting amendment to the North Carolina Constitution.

The District of Columbia City Council voted to grant noncitizens voting rights last November.

Under the D.C. Home Rule Act, Congress has the power to stop laws enacted by the city by making a disapproval resolution. The House voted on a resolution disapproving D.C.’s noncitizen voting law on February 9. The disapproval resolution passed 260-162.

The scary part is that 38% of the representatives voted to allow noncitizens to vote in elections in our nation’s capital.

Representatives Don Davis (who voted against letting noncitizens vote) and Deborah Ross (who voted for letting noncitizens vote).

But it is not just extremist politicians in far-off states like California and Vermont supporting letting noncitizens vote in American elections. Some of North Carolina’s congressional delegation support it as well. The following members voted against the disapproval resolution. In other words, they are for letting noncitizens vote in D.C. elections.

  • 2nd district: Deborah K. Ross (D)
  • 4th district: Valerie Foushee (D)
  • 12th district: Alma Adams (D)

The good news is that most of North Carolina’s congressional delegation, from both parties, voted for the disapproval resolution. In other words, they are against letting noncitizens vote in D.C. elections.

  • 1st district: Donald G. Davis (D)

  • 3rd district: Greg Murphy (R)

  • 5th district: Virginia Foxx (R)

  • 6th district: Kathy Manning (D)

  • 7th district: David Rouzer (R)

  • 8th district: Dan Bishop (R)

  • 9th district: Richard Hudson (R)

  • 10th district: Patrick McHenry (R)

  • 11th district: Chuck Edwards (R)

  • 13th district: Wiley Nickel (D)

  • 14th district: Jeff Jackson (D)

The NC Constitution Needs a Citizens-only Voting Amendment

I wrote last year about why we need to amend the North Carolina Constitution to affirm that only citizens may vote in our elections:

North Carolina currently limits voting rights to citizens by statute. Federal law similarly prevents noncitizens from voting in federal elections. So why amend the North Carolina constitution?

First, whether noncitizens can vote in our elections is fundamental to how our republic works. Its importance rises to the point where it should be a part of our state government’s foundational document…

…Second, statutory limits are subject to change by temporary majorities in the legislature, whereas constitutional limits are more permanent. Like those in New York City, future politicians in North Carolina could see granting noncitizens the right to vote as a means to “reshape local politics forever,” either by allowing noncitizens to vote statewide or permitting municipalities or counties to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. 

A constitutional amendment would help protect our elections’ integrity by ensuring a future temporary majority in the General Assembly does not grant noncitizens the power to vote.