Seven state constitutions expressly prohibit noncitizens from voting—Wisconsin’s could become the eighth

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 14, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Seven state constitutions expressly prohibit noncitizens from voting—Wisconsin’s could become the eighth
  2. All 50 states and D.C. have announced dates for 2024 statewide and presidential primary elections 
  3. Cities in California, Nebraska holding recall elections today

Wisconsin could become eighth state to pass constitutional prohibition on noncitzen voting 

On Nov. 9, the Wisconsin Legislature put a constitutional amendment on the November 2024 ballot that would specify that only U.S. citizens can vote in federal, state, or local elections. 

If voters approve the amendment, Wisconsin would join seven other states—Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Ohio—that have approved amendments prohibiting noncitizen voting. Those states approved constitutional amendments in 2018, 2020, and 2022.

The average vote in favor of those amendments was 72.6%.

Currently, Wisconsin’s constitution says, “Every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district.” The amendment would change the constitution to read: “Only a United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district who may vote in an election for national, state, or local office or at a statewide or local referendum.”

No state constitutions explicitly allow noncitizens to vote in state or local elections. In 1996, Congress passed a law prohibiting noncitizens from voting in federal elections.

The Wisconsin Legislature first voted on the Wisconsin Citizenship Voting Requirement Amendment in 2022. Wisconsin is one of 13 states with a two-session requirement for legislatively referred constitutional amendments to appear on the ballot (in four of those states, an amendment that receives a supermajority in the first round can bypass the second).

  • In 2022, the amendment was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 32 (SJR 32). The Senate approved the amendment 21-12 on Jan. 25, 2022. The Assembly approved it 60-35 on Feb. 24. 
  • This year, legislators introduced the amendment as Senate Joint Resolution 71 (SJR 71). The Senate approved it 21-10 on Nov. 7, with two not voting. The Assembly approved it 60-34 on Nov. 9, with five not voting.

Wisconsin has a divided government. Republicans hold a 22-11 majority in the Senate and a 64-35 majority in the Assembly. Tony Evers (D) is the governor. 

The governor’s signature is not required to approve legislatively referred constitutional amendments for the ballot. 

Between 1985 and 2023, Wisconsin voters approved 30 statewide measures and defeated nine. 

Iowa voters will also be deciding on a similar amendment in 2024. Iowa has a Republican trifecta

While no states allow noncitizens to vote, at least 12 municipalities have added language to their charters permitting noncitizen residents to participate in some or all elections. That includes Oakland, California, and 11 municipalities in Maryland. 

Supporters of noncitizen voting say that prohibiting noncitizens from voting is unjust because of barriers to naturalization and that allowing them to vote doesn’t discourage them from seeking citizenship. Opponents argue people should become citizens before being allowed to vote. You can read more about the arguments for and against allowing noncitizens to vote here

Click below to read more about the Wisconsin Citizenship Voting Requirement Amendment.

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All 50 states and D.C. have announced dates for 2024 statewide and presidential primary elections 

The 2024 election calendar has gradually crystallized over the last few months as states have announced primary election dates and candidate filing deadlines.

Let’s take a quick look at where things stand today.

Fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have announced dates for their 2024 statewide primaries. Separately, 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad have announced the date for at least one of their presidential nominating contests (some states schedule their presidential primaries at the same time as statewide primaries for other offices, while other states hold primaries on separate dates). 

The last time we covered this topic, in late October, 41 states had confirmed their statewide primaries, while 45 states had confirmed at least one presidential primary. 

Iowa has confirmed the earliest presidential nominating contest, with Republicans in the state holding presidential caucuses on Jan. 15. South Carolina’s Democratic Party has confirmed the earliest presidential preference primary on Feb. 3.

The following U.S. states and territories have not announced presidential primary dates:

  • Wyoming (Republicans)
  • American Samoa (Republicans)
  • Guam (Republicans)
  • North Mariana Islands (Republicans)

Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and Texas will all share the earliest 2024 statewide primary date, which is March 5 (Super Tuesday!). Louisiana will hold the latest statewide primary on Nov. 5 due to its unique majority-vote system.

The following U.S. territories have not announced their statewide primary dates:

  • American Samoa
  • North Mariana Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

In 18 states, presidential and statewide primaries fall on the same date. 

Here are some of the changes we’ve cataloged since we last covered this topic:

  • New Hampshire confirmed its Jan. 23 presidential primary date. 
  • Alabama changed its statewide primary runoff date from April 2 to April 16.
  • The Democratic presidential caucus date in Idaho changed from May 25 to May 23.
  • Puerto Rico scheduled the Republican presidential primary for April 21.

The 2024 election cycle kicked off Nov. 10 with the passing of Alabama’s candidate filing deadline for state, congressional, and presidential primaries. Arkansas’ deadline for 2024 elections is today. 

Click below to read more about 2024 election dates.

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Cities in California, Nebraska holding recall elections today

We’ve spent quite a bit of time today looking ahead to 2024, but this year’s elections aren’t over. Voters in cities in California and Nebraska are deciding recall elections today.

As of Nov. 13, we’ve cataloged 261 recall efforts against 382 officials across all office types. Voters have removed 62 officials so far. On Nov. 7, we covered recalls against 34 officials. So far, 26 have been removed from office. In seven races, results are too close to call as of this writing.

Let’s look at what’s at stake in today’s races. 

Crofton, Nebraska

Crofton City Councilman Larry Peitz is up for recall. Peitz also chairs of the Crofton City Council. The effort to recall Peitz began on June 23, when former Police Chief John Carter filed recall petitions against Peitz and Mayor Robert Evans. In his petition, Carter said Peitz violated Nebraska’s public meeting laws and disposed of public property without notice. Carter also accused Peitz of being hostile toward Crofton’s law enforcement.

The effort to recall Evans did not go to a vote because recall supporters did not collect the required 127 signatures. Recall supporters needed to submit 63 signatures to put the recall against Peitz on the ballot. They submitted 71, and 64 were deemed valid. 

Neither Peitz nor Evans filed statements of defense. 

In September, a recall election was held against Councilmember James Murphy. Voters retained Murphy in a 73% to 27%. 

Crofton is located in the northeast corner of the state, and had a population of 911 in 2021.  


Santa Ana City Councilmember Jessie Lopez is up for recall. Organizers tried to put Councilmember Thai Viet Phan on the ballot as well but failed to turn in signatures by the Aug. 7 deadline. 

The recall committee’s chairman, Tim Rush, said, “We are seeking to recall Lopez and Phan for their part in advancing extreme policies that [are] harmful to our neighborhoods and undermine the strides Santa Ana has been making in improving our quality of life. Their palpable hostility to law enforcement is one aspect of their destructive record—but there is more.” Rush also said Lopez and Phan voted for a rent control ordinance. 

Lopez said, “I have been part of a council that approved hiring more police officers, approved hiring bonuses and approved safety equipment for our officers. The gang enforcement unit is fully funded and I’m proud to have a good working relationship with our police chief, David Valentin.”

Gerry Serrano, the president of the police officers’ union in Santa Ana, is among the supporters of the recall campaign.

Santa Ana is the 63rd largest city in the country with a population of 310,227. It has a Democratic mayor

Twice a year, we publish a report on recall efforts against the country—a year-end report and a mid-year report. Click here to read our 2023 mid-year report, which covers recall efforts between January and June 21. In December, we will publish our year-end report, so stay tuned for that!

Learn more about upcoming recall elections at the link below. 

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