The Wisconsin State Legislature took the final vote on Nov. 9 to send a constitutional amendment to the Nov. 2024 ballot that would add language to the state constitution to provide that only U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or older can vote in federal, state, local, or school elections. Currently, the 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.”
Seven other states—Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Ohio—have similar language in their respective state constitutions. The average ‘yes’ vote for the amendments was 72.6%.
In Wisconsin, the state legislature is required to approve an amendment by a simple majority vote in two successive sessions for the amendment to appear on the ballot.
During the 2021-2022 legislative session, the amendment was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 32 (SJR 32). The Senate approved the amendment by a vote of 21-12 on Jan. 25, 2022. The Assembly approved SJR 32 by a vote of 60-35 on Feb. 24, 2022.
During the 2023-204 legislative session, the amendment was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 71 (SJR 71). The Senate approved the amendment by a vote of 21-10 on Nov. 7, 2023, with two not voting. The Assembly approved SJR 71 by a vote of 60-34 on Nov. 9, 2023, with five not voting.
Iowa voters will also be deciding on a similar amendment in 2024.
On Nov. 9, the Wisconsin State Legislature also voted to send one other constitutional amendment as two ballot questions to the April 2 primary ballot. The amendment would provide that only election officials designated by law may administer elections and prohibit any level of government in the state from applying or accepting non-governmental funds or equipment for election administration.
Between 1985 and 2023, 30 ballot measures were approved, and nine were defeated in Wisconsin.