Seven states are deciding on constitutional amendments to require citizenship for voting in 2024

Voters in seven states will decide on ballot measures to prohibit non-citizen voting in Nov. 2024.

The ballot measures would amend the states’ constitutions to provide that only a citizen rather than every citizen may vote in a state’s elections. The seven states are North Carolina, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. In each of these states, the Republican-controlled legislature added an amendment to the ballot.

In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed a law prohibiting noncitizens from voting in federal elections, such as U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and presidential elections. Federal law did not address state or local elections.

All state constitutions mention U.S. citizenship when discussing who can vote in that state’s elections. In 43 states, constitutional language discussing citizenship says who can vote (e.g. every citizen or all citizens), but does not state that noncitizens cannot vote. In seven states (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Ohio), the states’ constitutions provide that citizens, but not noncitizens, have the right to vote.

North Dakota was the first state to make the change in its constitution when in 2018, an amendment was approved with 65.93% of voters in favor. In 2020, three states—Colorado, Alabama, and Florida—approved citizenship requirements for voting measures. In 2022, Ohio and Louisiana also made the constitutional change. All six measures were approved with at least 62.9% of the vote.

The measures were supported by Citizen Voters, Inc., a nonprofit organization founded in 2018. John Loudon, a former Republican state legislator, served as the national chairman of the group. Loudon served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1995 to 2000 and in the Missouri State Senate from 2000 to 2008.

As of 2024, the District of Columbia and municipalities in California, Maryland, and Vermont allowed noncitizens to vote in some or all local elections.