Ohio Passes Constitutional Amendment Allowing Only Citizens to Vote

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

NBC News projects that a constitutional amendment to bar non-citizens from voting in local elections will pass by an overwhelming majority of Ohio voters on Tuesday. “Issue 2” requires that in order to vote in state and local elections, a voter must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 of age, and has been a legal resident who’s been registered to vote for at least 30 days.


The amendment goes into effect immediately. CNN is also projecting the measure will pass. The amendment makes a small but important change to the state’s constitution, changing the words “every citizen” of the U.S. who meets certain criteria, to “only citizens” of the U.S. who do. It shocks me that one would even need to focus so minutely on this language, but when the Overton Window is being shifted ever leftward by one party, making it clear that voting is a right reserved only for legal citizens of the United States of America is necessary.

The issue was championed by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s elections chief:

It’s a bad idea to callously give away the right to vote to people that haven’t earned it,” LaRose said at an October news conference touting the issue. “I think that citizenship has value, citizenship has status. So many of our ancestors worked so hard to earn that citizenship.

Ohio will be the seventh state to take such a step. According to the Associated Press, the state will join Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, and North Dakota in adding such a requirement to their state constitutions.


Ohio also has a tight Senate race where Republican J.D. Vance is in a virtual tie with Democrat Tim Ryan.

Although there are plenty of detractors of the amendment, some legal immigrants think it’s about time:

Among U.S. citizens who back the Ohio amendment is Luis Gil, a Republican running for county commissioner in central Ohio. Gil moved to the U.S. from Venezuela when he was 18 and said he never believed in shortcuts to the privileges of citizenship.

“Most immigrants, we don’t think this way,” he said at LaRose’s news conference. “We know that we have to earn this. We have to abide by the same rules as everyone, that’s it.”


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