ATLANTA (WSAV) – Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is calling for a change to the state’s constitution, spelling out that only U.S. citizens are allowed to vote in Georgia elections.
Some say the move is a political ploy.
“The petition is clear and simple. Only U.S. citizens should be voting in U.S. elections,” Raffensperger, a Republican, said Thursday at the Georgia State Capitol.
The online petition can be found at OnlyCitizens.Vote.
If the Georgia General Assembly were to pass an amendment, it would then be left to voters to choose in the 2022 general election.
“We can’t run the risk that special interests one day succeed in giving non-citizens a say in our laws, taxes and representatives the way they have in other states,” the secretary of state said.
“Citizen-only voting is not a new or discriminatory idea,” said immigration attorney Jasha McQueen, who spoke during Thursday’s press briefing alongside Raffensberger. “The majority of countries in the world have citizen-only voting.”
But by Raffensperger’s own admission during the conference, Georgia law already only allows U.S. citizens to vote in state and local elections.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia says Raffensperger is pushing a false narrative that the state’s elections are somehow in jeopardy of being compromised.
“We’ve seen that elections have become hyper-partisan,” said Christopher Bruce, political director of the ACLU of Georgia. “We’ve seen that even the secretary of state said that being able to vote should not be a political issue, and he’s making it into a political issue.”
Some political insiders tell WSAV Raffensperger is simply trying to win back votes from supporters of former President Donald Trump who are still upset the secretary didn’t overturn President Joe Biden’s win in Georgia in the 2020 presidential election.
“The Georgia constitution has been amended so many times before, and a lot of times that was unnecessary,” said Bruce. “This is another one of those times that the secretary of state is calling for something completely unnecessary.”
According to Raffensperger, the amendment would need to pass both chambers of the legislature by a two-thirds majority and then be approved by a majority of Georgia voters during the general election.