What Is Amendment 1, The Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections Amendment?
Amendment 1, Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections
Ballot summary: This amendment provides that only United States Citizens who are at least eighteen years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election.
Do you have to be a citizen to vote in Florida already?
Amendment 1’s premise is simple: It would add a line in Florida’s constitution that you must be a citizen to vote. Federal law already prohibits non-citizens from voting.
Currently, Florida’s constitution says every citizen shall have the right to vote. Amendment 1 would change the every to only.
John Loudon is chairman of Florida Citizen Voters Inc., the amendment’s sponsor. He points to San Francisco and Maryland, places where non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections as the reason why the amendment is needed.
“I learned about this new trend of giving legal voting rights to non-citizens, starting and local elections, but potentially expanding to state and federal elections,” Loudon said. “And I just have a serious problem with that.”
Who is against Amendment 1?
The League of Women Voters has come out against Amendment 1, calling it unnecessary.
“We’re opposed to that, there’s no need for that amendment, ” said Florida League of Women Voters President Patti Brigham. “You already have to be a citizen to vote in Florida or in the United States, so that’s a ridiculous initiative and we’re suspicious as to why it’s even there.”
What do other states require?
Arizona and North Dakota recently passed a citizenship requirement to vote. Florida, Colorado and Alabama will vote on it this year.
Where can I get more information?
This story is part of The State We’re In, an elections reporting initiative from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando. It’s produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. On Facebook, follow The State We’re In page and join the conversation in the group.
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