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Measure to ensure only U.S. citizens vote in Colorado to be added to 2020 ballot

Enough signatures have been collected to put a measure on the 2020 ballot that would ensure only citizens can vote in Colorado state elections if it passes.

Instead of saying “every citizen,” a group called Colorado Citizen Voters wants the state constitution to say “only a citizen” when referencing who can vote.

Today the group says it submitted more than 200,000 signatures of Coloradans on their side, far over the required threshold of just under 125,000 signatures.

Right now, it’s illegal to vote in Colorado elections if you’re not a citizen. But advocates for this measure say it’s the only way to ensure that the local law stays that way, since federal law doesn’t explicitly prohibit non-citizens from voting.

“I think this is the most common sense step we can actually take to make sure that we’ve got integrity in our elections, and to make sure that only U.S. citizens are voting in our elections,” said State Representative Patrick Neville, who's backing the campaign.

Neville says allowing non-citizens to vote can compromise elections.

“If we’re actually talking about worrying about foreign interference in our elections, the biggest foreign intervention we can have in our elections is someone who’s a non-citizen actually voting in our elections,” he said.

People against the measure say it’s a waste of time, and a waste of space on the ballot.

“I do feel personally that it is a little redundant to have this as a ballot measure,” said Philip Oke-Thomas, President of College Democrats at UCCS.

Oke-Thomas says he finds it highly unlikely a large number of non-citizens are voting in elections.

“I feel like our state would be able to pick those up if they were non-citizens and they voted, and that their vote wouldn’t count since they are not allowed to vote here,” he said.

Some people have gone further than just opposing the ballot measure.

There’re advocates for allowing non-citizens to vote on the national level who say it would encourage those people -- some of which still pay taxes and put their children through public school -- to take part in the community.

Now that the group has enough signatures to get the item on the ballot, it’s up to the Secretary of State to see the process through.

Colorado Springs / Local News / News

Julia Donovan

Julia is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Julia here.

Comments

4 Comments

  1. “Oke-Thomas says he finds it highly unlikely a large number of non-citizens are voting in elections.”
    .
    For the most part, people who aren’t citizens prefer to take a low-key approach to life in general, and voting illegally would only draw attention to themselves. So although the ballot measure may be redundant, it doesn’t do any harm in general, so why not add that extra level of security to one of our most valued rights?

  2. The spirit of the law vs the letter of the law will get you every time. It is sad that this has to even be put on the ballot.

    …since federal law doesn’t explicitly prohibit non-citizens from voting.

    So it is not against the law for Mexico for example to request a ballot for every Mexican citizen and mail them in to be counted? So I guess the whole investigation that Russia tried to influence our elections is nonsense seeing that it’s not against the law.

  3. Yes it does need to be done. If we are truly trying to fix all of the potential loop-holes that allow people that are not a citizen of the US the abilities to vote this must too be done. The counter to this argument would have to ask, do they really think that is they went to another foreign country, would they be allowed to vote in their elections, just because they live there some of the time? The answer is no.

  4. Why are locals allowed to discuss this Supreme Court conversation but not allowed to discuss the impeachment hearing? How is your patrons supposed to meet on your news channel and discuss this incredibly important and impactful discussion with KRDO turning off the ability to leave comments and have an open forum discussing the topics you are hosting on your web page? If our politicians are allowed to discuss their spin, and our news media are allowed to discuss our spin and both the politicians and the news are supposed to echo the populaces sediments; How do either of the politicians or the news media know what the populaces opinion is when both the politicians and the news media are suppressing our ability to voice our opinion? I am not trying to diminish this topic by any means, but the larger, more impactful discussion is the impeachment hearing and KRDO you are just being a part of the cause of why most do not trust the media. You have the ability to fix it too! Just the facts, tell the truth, give us the ability to openly discuss, and keep KRDO’s business opinions out of the articles.

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