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Georgia Senate Rejects Resolution Banning Foreign Voters

Cobb County Georgia voting

epa08920788 A person walks past a polling place at the Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia, USA, 05 January 2021. Republican Senator David Perdue is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is running against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock in the 05 January 2021 runoff election. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

A resolution pushed by the Republican majority in the Georgia legislature to explicitly bar non-citizens of the United States from participating in state elections in the state Constitution failed to win enough votes in the state Senate on Monday.

The measure received 14 votes against, all Democrats, and 33 votes in favor, all Republicans, five fewer than needed to pass a constitutional amendment, according to the Georgia Constitution.

Georgia law already prohibits non-citizens from voting, so the resolution was seen as a political maneuver by the Republican Party in a year when midterm elections are being held and the first elections after a Democratic presidential candidate (President Joe Biden) won the state since the 1980s.

The resolution was presented on January 10 during the beginning of sessions in the Georgia General Assembly by the leader of the state Senate, Butch Miller, who is running for lieutenant governor and is supported by the Georgia Secretary of State, the Republican Brad Raffensperger, who is seeking re-election.

The measure sought to raise the ban to the constitutional level and for this, it proposed that the voters of Georgia be the ones who decide it on the ballot for the elections on November 8.

Republican leaders say they seek to prevent any proposal similar to the one approved in New York, where municipal legislators gave the green light to a rule that allows immigrants to vote in local elections.

In this way, New York City will become the first large American city that allows immigrants who legally reside permanently, people with work permits or temporary protection status, as well as those who benefit from the program, to vote in municipal elections. for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), known as “dreamers”.

“In Georgia, voting is sacred and citizenship should matter,” Miller said in statements published Monday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

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