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Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

Summary:

The measure would amend Section 2 of Article VI of the Florida Constitution to state: 

Every citizen Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.

 

LPF Stance: No


Description:

If approved, this amendment would mandate United States citizenship along with the lengthy list of current requirements to vote in all Florida elections. While current law prevents non-citizens from voting, this change to the Florida Constitution prevents Florida cities from allowing non-citizens to vote, should the residents of that city vote to do so in the future. Some cities in the United States, such as San Francisco and College Park, MD, already allow non-citizens to vote in their local elections. The passage of Amendment 1 would remove the ability for Florida residents to choose to include the voices of non-citizens in their local elections.

 

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform

XII. Secession

  1. Local Government and Secession

We support the right of all local jurisdictions (such as counties, cities, school districts and special districts) to determine their political geography and government structure, including representation systems, election dates, and elected and appointed officers.

 

VI. Paying for Government

  1. Localism

As a principle, we recognize Florida as a diverse and vast people. As such, we seek to support the most local forms of government, rather than further afield governments, such as State or Federal.

 

Discussion

As Libertarians, we recognize the rights of local citizens and respect their judgement regarding who they choose to participate in local elections. This amendment takes those rights away.

Federal law already prohibits non-citizens from voting, but some localities like San Francisco and College Park, MD have made the decision to give non-citizens voting rights in local elections. Regardless of their citizenship status, municipal residents should be able to vote in their communities if the majority of their local municipality grants them such rights.

This amendment to the Florida Constitution is an overreaching attempt to tie the hands of future elected officials within all of Florida’s local governments. For these reasons, the Libertarian Party of Florida recommends a vote of No on Amendment 1.

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