On Saturday (December 10), voters in Louisiana headed to the polls to decide whether or not an amendment to the state constitution should be adopted that expressly requires anyone who votes in the state to be a U.S. citizen.
A CBS affiliate, KNOE, explained that the state’s current legislation required those voting in the state to be citizens of Louisiana but didn’t expressly require that they be citizens of the U.S.
Federal elections for Offices like the Presidency or Senate are governed by federal law, which requires all voters casting ballots in these elections to be U.S. citizens.
However, for state and municipal elections — governed by state law — the state can decide whether all voters should be U.S. citizens.
Currently, there isn’t any law in Louisiana that allows non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections. Still, the amendment’s passage would expressly prohibit municipalities and the state from allowing this in the future.
State Rep. Debbie Villio told KNOE that the amendment clarifies that a Voter in Louisiana must be both a U.S. citizen and a state citizen.
If the amendment is passed, Louisiana will join the more than half a dozen states that expressly prohibit non-U.S. citizens from voting, including in local elections.
In Maryland and Vermont, several towns permit non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections. New York City tried to embrace similar legislation last year, passing a law that allowed non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections. But the legislation was struck down by a Supreme Court Judge in June of this year. A Supreme Court judge struck the law down because it violated parts of the state’s constitution.