The Left wants noncitizens to vote in Georgia. We won’t let them


By Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

[This opinion appeared in National Review.]

President Joe Biden’s leftist-activist allies are suing me, again. They want to open the gate to noncitizen voting. I’m not going to let them.

President Biden’s failure to address our border crisis signals a troubling new trend and campaign tactic from the Left: a push to open our elections to noncitizen voting. Despite attempts by activists to downplay this issue, leftist activists such as Stacey Abrams and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda persist in legal efforts to stop Georgia from verifying U.S. citizenship when people register to vote.

These tactics are not new. When Abrams was running for governor in 2018, she notably declared that a “blue wave” would sweep her into office. “That blue wave,” she said, “is undocumented,” while her allies concurrently pursued legal action to stop citizenship verification. In the lead-up to the 2024 election, these leftist groups have continued their push to dismantle the vital checks that Georgia uses to verify U.S. citizenship when someone registers to vote.

Currently, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, the Stacey Abrams–founded New Georgia Project, and other left-wing groups are attempting to eliminate Georgia’s commonsense citizenship-verification process.

Georgia uses a particularly effective citizenship-verification process when people register to vote. Georgia has been REAL ID–compliant since 2012, which means that every person has to show documentary proof of their U.S. citizenship or legal-immigration status when they get a driver’s license or state identification card.

And because more than 90 percent of voter registrations in Georgia come through the Georgia Department of Driver Services as a result of automatic voter registration, Georgia’s citizenship-verification process is quick and seamless.

When documents show that the person attempting to register was not a U.S. citizen and that person has not attached a more recent document showing that they have become a U.S. citizen, they are not able to vote until they have proved their U.S. citizenship, which they can do even at the polls. This straightforward measure protects the right of eligible voters of all political persuasions to have their votes given the full weight they deserve.

Getting rid of citizenship verification would allow noncitizens to vote, plain and simple. Georgia’s citizenship-verification process has flagged thousands of people who provided documents to Driver Services showing that they were not citizens and whose citizenship status was still unable to be confirmed by the federal government after they attempted to register to vote.

And Georgia does not rely just on state databases for this information. Georgia’s process also includes checking potential noncitizens against the online SAVE database maintained by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If a person registering to vote is unable to be verified as a U.S. citizen through either of those checks, and they have not submitted one of the many eligible forms showing that they are a U.S. citizen, they are not able to vote until they have done so.

But this commonsense process to protect the right of U.S. citizens to decide U.S. elections is under attack by the Left. According to their very own complaint filed in court, the leftist activists suing me want my office “to place in active voter registration status all applicants who . . . failed to verify citizenship … so long as the applicant has sworn or affirmed he or she is a U.S. citizen.”

They want me to ignore the documents from DDS and USCIS that show the person may not be a U.S. citizen and just take their word for it! That is a recipe to have noncitizens voting in our elections. Georgia’s existing process simply asks those people who previously provided documentary proof that they were not a citizen and who are unable to be verified by SAVE to show proof of citizenship before voting.

It’s a logical approach that has been working well, and there is no need to get rid of it right before a major election, no matter how much the Left thinks that potentially having noncitizens vote will help their preferred candidate.

Let me be clear: U.S. elections should be decided by U.S. citizens and only U.S. citizens.

Secure elections mean that only U.S. citizens are voting in our elections and that foreign actors are shut out from voting, participating in, and funding elections and campaigns.

That is why since 2018 I have called the General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment to ensure that noncitizens are never allowed to vote in Georgia. Leftist activists have already shown that they want to change the laws that require voters to be U.S. citizens. A constitutional amendment would eliminate any possibility for future efforts to change those laws.

I have worked with Georgia state senator Rick Williams and state representative Jesse Petrea to ban foreign funding in elections and campaigns and to require lobbyists of foreign entities to register with a newly created state registry, and I am pleased that the ban on foreign funding of elections passed the state senate with wide support.

This is the simple and incontrovertible point: American elections should be decided by American citizens. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to the democratic values that have defined our nation for more than two centuries.

The protection of our electoral process is not a partisan issue; it is a civic responsibility that transcends political partisanship. Republicans and patriotic Democrats must work to preserve the integrity of our elections and maintain the trust of the American people in the democratic system that makes America great, and that includes supporting thorough citizenship verification like we do in Georgia.

[Brad Raffensperger is Georgia’s 29th Secretary of State, first elected in 2018 and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2022. Secretary Raffensperger is a lifelong conservative Republican. He moved to Georgia 40 years ago to raise a family and start a small business. As a licensed Professional Engineer and Structural Engineer licensed in 40 states, and licensed General Contractor in Georgia and other states, Raffensperger successfully founded Tendon Systems, a provider of high-strength steel for construction projects. Brad and his wife Tricia started out as high school sweethearts and have now been married for over forty-five years. They raised three sons and immensely enjoy spoiling their three grandchildren. They are members of North Point Community Church.]


  1. To all who are supporting and defending Biden’s open border: if police state Russia cannot prevent an ISIS attack that killed over 130 people in a concert hall last week, what makes you think Biden can keep us safe from terrorists with his direct pipeline of millions of illegals across our border to the interior?

    And in the news just the last week: hundreds of illegals stormed across a border checkpoint in Texas, an illegal took to Tik Tok to advise other illegals how to take over a home as a squatter, and a US District Judge in Illinois ruled that illegals have a right to own a gun. How is any of this good for our country?

    Also, the House Committee on Homeland Security estimated over $450,000,000,000 in annual costs stemming from the U.S. border crisis. Health care for illegal immigrants makes up a significant portion of the half-trillion dollar expense, taking away services and tax dollars from citizens.

    Stop believing Congress has a quick fix to the border crisis. Biden used Executive Orders and instructions not to enforce current laws to cause this mess. He can and must reverse these dangerous policies now.

    • You’re right Penny. We shouldn’t expect Congress to do its job and stop the hemorrhaging by changing the asylum laws. It is so much better to critique how well our presidents apply band-aids.

      You can’t make this stuff up. Truth is so much stranger than fiction.

      • The House passed HR2 – The Secure Border Act almost a year ago, which, unlike the Senate bill, would actually deal with the crisis of illegals entering the US instead of making it worse.

        HR 2 would make changes to immigration law, including limits on asylum eligibility and requiring employers to use an electronic system to verify the employment eligibility of new employees. It also reverses Biden’s harmful Executive Orders and refusal to enforce existing laws that are the root cause of the chaos on the border.

        But Dem Senate Leader Chuck Schumer refuses to put HR2 to a vote, so there’s your Congressional dysfunction. You knew all of this, right?

        Schumer must put HR2 to a vote, yes. But if you want quick action to stop the mass of illegals crossing into the US, as I do, no one other than Biden has the pen and the power to do it now. He must do so.

        • Hi Penny. You err in your assumption that I give a pass to either party on immigration. BOTH political parties are at fault for this crisis,and only an agreement involving compromise will affect a meaningful change.

          Trump promised a grand wall would be erected and paid for by Mexico – a pipe dream that wasn’t even seriously imagined by reasonable folks. Biden promised a humanitarian approach that would contain the border – which didn’t even come close.

          Biden uses Trump’s callousness as a wedge issue, and Trump uses Biden’s ineffective border-sealing as a wedge issue. The recent compromise legislation didn’t come close to effectively solving the asylum issue, but the GOP refused even to take this baby step because their standard bearer needs to keep everyone in fear.

          As stated above, if one’s only metric for success is who can apply the most effective band-aid, one has already lost the argument.

  2. Secretary Raffensperger is absolutely right that only verified citizens should vote in Georgia elections. His comments are marred only by the repetitive, sophomoric name-calling that he should be above in his position as a statewide elected official.

    Now, I wish that the other inequities could be addressed. Georgia is a purple state with a Republican governor and two Democratic Senators, yet the 14 congressional districts have been gerrymandered to elect 9 Republicans and only 5 Democrats. This subverts the will of the people.

    Further, the election-year Senate rules that prevented Merrick Garland from Supreme Court consideration were not applied to Amy Barrett. This was blatantly unfair and erodes confidence in both the Senate and the Supreme Court.

    Another electoral problem that needs remediation is the electoral college. The five presidents who have taken office after losing the popular vote have been very unsuccessful and rank among the least effective in virtually every ranking of presidents by presidential scholars. It is beyond time to change rules giving small-state citizens more voice in presidential elections than large-state citizens.

    Thankfully, the lawsuit against Secretary Raffensperger is likely to go nowhere in Georgia’s courts. I hope we can address the other sources of election unfairness both in Georgia and our country at large.

  3. It is abundantly clear that the Biden administration and progressives are harming America by encouraging illegal immigration and refusing to enforce our laws. The damage is immense and will only get worse.

    The increased crime and fentanyl deaths, financial drain on cities and states, and national security risks from terror cells are all well-known, but still not enough for Biden to change course.

    Why, a reasonable person might ask, would our president willfully ignore his Constitutional duty and oath to protect America and its citizens? The answer is in an executive order Biden issued in his first week in office.

    Biden ON DAY ONE ordered the Census to include non-citizens in its count, which has the intended effect of boosting populations in blue states and cities. These are the numbers used to decide the how many Representatives each state gets in the US House, federal subsidies and states’ weightings in the Electoral College.

    In other words, it gives some states many more people counted (in New York or California, for example) than there would be if only citizens were counted. This underhandedly gives those states more representation in Congress, federal funds and influence in the Presidential election than they deserve by using illegals’ presence in the US.

    If progressives can’t get all states to abandon fair elections with voter ID, they will benefit politically merely by opening the flood gates to millions of illegals.

    Biden and the progressives are playing a dangerous game to ensure single party (Democrat) rule, at the expense of tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. This must end now.

    • The Republican Party didn’t help things when they unambiguously failed to approve this year’s Senate bipartisan immigration bill. Many think it was a Trump approved political campaign tactic. How is it that a party, once known for its focus on security, turns its back on the very thing that made it grand? Is it simply more evidence of “one upmanship?” We absolutely can secure our borders if we will only get behind the effort and quit acting foolishly. I’m seeing much of the same in our State. I think Raffensperger is a good guy and has done a good job ensuring election integrity. He is just succumbing to the political foolishness. I’m throwing up at the “Grand Old Party.” It quit leading and started restricting.

      • Hi Doug

        That bill would have legalized approximately 1.8 M (365 days x 5k a day ) illeagals a year before the boarder could be closed. That is 7.2 M over one 4 yr term. Rumor id Langford is going to be set on fire at the convention for even proposing it.

        Worse it gave a review to every deportation in the past 10 yrs. There is more people for BPS, but since today’s boarder agents do only illegal processing, all that is is more people to process illegals.

        This bill had nothing to do with boarder security.

        • Mr. Sullivan.

          It dealt with screening potential immigrants prior to deporting them. Immigration is not presently an issue (I hope), an unsecure border is. Short of installing a military-type defensive frontline, stopping illegal immigration secures our border. It was a move forward; that’s my point. It seems to me that since just before people went to the polls and voted for Trump in 2016, the Republican Party has lost its way as a productive means to govern. It’s almost become a party led by anarchists. At least the Democratic Party has a minority anarchist subset.

          “The bill stated that temporary border emergency authority would be automatically activated by the Department of Homeland Security secretary if there is an average of 5,000 or more migrant encounters a day over seven consecutive days — or if there are 8,500 or more such encounters on any single day. Republican Sen. James Lankford, one of the bill’s architects said, “The first 5,000 we detain, we screen and then we deport. If we get above 5,000, we just detain and deport.” However, as I understand things, Trump posted on social media, “Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill, which only gives Shutdown Authority after 5000 Encounters a day.”

          Like Langford said, “It doesn’t have everything in it I wanted, it doesn’t have everything it my Democratic colleagues wanted.”

          “The bill was also supported by several groups that typically align with Republicans, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Wall Street Journal editorial board. The National Border Patrol Council, a union that represents about 18,000 border patrol agents, also endorsed the bill.”

          My quotations come from “”

          • Mr. Tucker – Your posts on this topic and the knee-jerk, Fox News quotes that the uncritical Fox News posters use as their lame rebuttals prove your point clearly. As you note, compromise means that each side gets something, but no one gets everything they want. In the border debate, the G.O.P. refuses to negotiate anything or accept acquiescence to most of their demands because they did not get ALL of their demands. They are so beholden to every impulse of their presidential candidate that they are paralyzed when he utters the slightest protest.

            The posters on this blog ignore your call for compromise and just reiterate their opposition.

            I don’t really know what is worse about the people who defend the current Republicans: to unconditionally accept the nonsense of their spin doctors or to know better, but still bull ahead.

            The health of our Republic depends upon compromise. Any group who refuses to come to this table is a threat to our nation.

      • Bill was a political stunt to transfer ownership of the border crisis from the Dems to the GOP in an election year. And a bunch of pork spending. Just like the inflation protection porker.

        Want to know what a bill does nothing that help? Just read the bills propaganda title to conceal pork.

  4. It just proves the depth of depravity a party will go in order to win elections. After opening the boarder the same party objects to proof of citizenship as a condition to vote How convenient.. Nothing partisan at all about that observation.

  5. Do you think after your 2021 lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice had anything to do with Curling v. Raffensperger? You did okay fending off Trump. I think now you are becoming another run-of-the-mill aspiring Georgia Republican politician. It’s a stinking shame a Secretary of State can’t be nonpartisan and get the job done without mouthing off about Democrats. Someday, hopefully, you guys will learn we are on the same boat. Maybe then you will quit trying to sink it.