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Sen. Bryant unveils constitutional amendment to ensure U.S. citizenship required to vote in Illinois

Terri Bryant
Office of Terri Bryant
Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro)

Citizenship would be clearly required to vote in any election in the State of Illinois under an amendment to Illinois’ Constitution introduced by State Senator Terri Bryant.

In response to growing efforts to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, the Murphysboro republican has unveiled Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 14.

“Choosing our leadership and the direction of our nation, state and community by voting is one of the most important rights - and responsibilities - that we as citizens of the United States have,” said Sen. Bryant. “Recently, we have seen efforts to expand those rights to non-citizens, which is not what the drafters of our state’s constitution had in mind.”

While state and federal law clearly require U.S. citizenship to vote in State and Federal elections, Bryant says recent proposals to allow non-citizens to vote in local and municipal elections have gained traction.

A city ordinance proposed in Evanston would allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections for mayor and city council. Another proposal filed in the Illinois Senate would extend voting rights to non-citizens in school board elections.

Bryant’s constitutional amendment would remove the words “in State elections” from the third article of the state constitution to make it abundantly clear that U.S. citizenship is required to vote in any election in Illinois.

“The ability to vote in an election is a sacred right of being a citizen of our nation. We can’t let activists and elected officials muddy that right to push their personal agendas,” continued Sen. Bryant. “By removing those three words, we can clearly define, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that only U.S. citizens are qualified to vote in an election in Illinois.”

As a proposed amendment to the constitution, SJRCA 14 would need to be approved by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly by May 5. It would then be placed on the November 5, 2024, General Election ballot to be approved by voters before becoming part of the state constitution.

As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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