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Lawmakers in Kentucky, concerned about a massive influx of illegal migrants under President Joe Biden’s watch, are moving to protect future elections in the Bluegrass State, as other a number of other states.
According to the West Virginia Record, a Kentucky lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require a voter to be a U.S. citizen.
State Rep. Michael Meredith is the primary sponsor of House Bill 341, aimed at safeguarding the electoral process and preserving the fundamental principles of voting rights. His proposed legislation seeks to place the matter before voters on the general election ballot.
“This bill marks a crucial milestone in ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Meredith said. “If HB341 receives a two-thirds majority yes vote in the House and Senate, it will be presented on the ballot in November 2024 for Kentucky citizens to have their say.”
The ballot measure will ask voters to determine if they want to “prohibit persons who are not citizens of the United States from being allowed to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” The actual wording that would be added to the state Constitution would say, “No person who is not a citizen of the United States shall be allowed to vote in this state.”
Earlier this week, West Virginia State Senate President Craig Blair introduced a comparable resolution aimed at pursuing a state constitutional amendment. Additionally, a delegate from the Virginia General Assembly has proposed legislation mandating that Virginia residents furnish proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport, or naturalization documents, when registering to vote, the outlet reported.
The group Americans for Citizen Voting hailed the Kentucky bill, calling it a “groundbreaking initiative” and “a significant step toward preserving the integrity of Kentucky’s electoral process.”
“As a representative of the people in Kentucky, I firmly believe in preserving the integrity of our democratic process,” Rep. Killian Timoney said. “Allowing only U.S. citizens to vote ensures that the voices heard in our elections truly reflect the interests and values of our community.
“It is a fundamental principle of our democracy to prioritize the rights and responsibilities of citizens, safeguarding the foundation upon which our great state stands,” Timoney added.
During a hearing held on January 25 within the Kentucky House Standing Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Government Affairs, Meredith explained the rationale behind the bill in response to concerns expressed by another lawmaker.
“I think the intent was for just citizens to vote,” Meredith said. “This has been tested in other cities. New York, California, and Maryland have allowed (non-citizens to vote) in school elections. They have held up. The language says allow citizens but does not specifically state non-citizens cannot.
Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that Ohio’s strict voter ID law, which includes a photo provision, is constitutional and has rejected a challenge to it.
The ruling tossed out a complaint filed by a Democratic law firm challenging provisions including a photo ID, “drop box restrictions, and tightened deadlines related to absentee and provisional ballots,” ABC News reported.
In his Monday ruling, U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent, a Clinton appointee, found that the Ohio photo ID requirement, in particular, “imposes no more than a minimal burden, if any, for the vast majority of voters.”
ABC News added: “Nugent also rejected the other claims asserted by the Elias Law Group, whose suit filed last year on behalf of groups representing military veterans, teachers, retirees, and the homeless argued the law imposed ‘needless and discriminatory burdens’ on the right to vote. The suit was filed the same day Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the legislation over the objections of voting rights, labor, environmental, and civil rights groups that had been pleading for a veto.”
The judge stated that there is no constitutional entitlement for voters to access mail-in or early voting options. Furthermore, he pointed out that Ohio’s revised timetable for acquiring and submitting absentee ballots is still more accommodating than that of 30 other states.