Florida Amendment 1: Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative
Florida’s Amendment 1(2020) would amend the state constitution to say that only citizens of the United States, rather than every citizen of the United States, are qualified to vote in Florida elections.
There is little to no fiscal impact estimated by the passage of Amendment 1.
Proponents’ Argument For
Supporters of Amendment 1 note that the Florida constitution does not explicitly state citizenship is a requirement to vote. The existing language of the state constitution says, “Every 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.” Proponents argue that this language is clear as to who is allowed to vote but does not adequately specify who is not allowed to vote. They suggest that changing the language from “every citizen” to “only a citizen” would provide greater clarity and prevent non-citizens from voting in state elections.
Opponents’ Arguments Against
There is no formal opposition at this time.
Florida’s Amendment 1 would not have a significant impact on Florida because citizenship is already a requirement to vote in state and federal elections. While the Florida constitution says that “every citizen” rather than “only citizens” may vote, it does not in any way suggest that non-citizens may vote. Moreover, state and federal law explicitly state that citizenship is required to vote. The amendment would change the wording but not the meaning of the state constitution.