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Constitutional amendment to block non-citizens from voting proposed by Rep. Tenney

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  • Staff Report 

A resolution has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-Canandaigua, that calls for a constitutional amendment to prohibit noncitizens from voting in federal, state, and local elections. As some cities, including New York, have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections, Tenney wants to end the practice with a constitutional amendment.

Currently, the U.S. Constitution allows citizens to vote in federal elections, but some cities have passed legislation that permits noncitizens to vote in local elections. However, New York City’s law was challenged, and a state Supreme Court judge struck it down.


Recently, the city council in Washington, D.C., approved a bill that would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. However, Tenney supported a House resolution opposing the law.

According to Tenney, the right to vote is one of the most sacred rights that American citizens have, and a citizen of another nation should not be allowed to vote in elections that will influence government officials and U.S. laws at any level. She believes it is time to restore confidence in elections and rebuild faith in the self-governing constitutional republic by making it explicit that only American citizens are permitted to vote in local, state, and federal elections.

Amending the U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of Congress to advance a proposed amendment. After that, the amendment must be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures to be added to the Constitution. The Constitution has not been amended since 1992.