Rep. Bell on Fox News: North Carolina Leads Way to Ban Non-Citizen Voting

By: Rep. John Bell


Only U.S. citizens should vote in American elections — including North Carolina’s state and local elections.  

It might sound like common sense, but it seems rather uncommon, given the pushback against a bill that was recently approved by the General Assembly that would amend North Carolina’s constitution to explicitly prohibit non-citizens from voting in state and local elections.

Opponents on the left claim that non-citizen voting is a nonissue. But given the massive influx of illegal immigrants into our country in the last several years, now is absolutely the time to close a loophole that could permit non-citizen voting.

That’s why my colleagues and I introduced HB 1407 to give North Carolinians the opportunity to decide in November whether or not to add this common sense safeguard to our state constitution.

If approved by the voters, the amendment would implement a simple change to our state constitution. It would state that "only a citizen of the United States" may vote in state and local elections, thereby clearly and explicitly prohibiting non-citizens from ever being able to vote in a state or local election in North Carolina.  

It’s a small adjustment with big implications. As more and more states allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, this change would secure the Tarheel State’s elections from outside influence both now and in the future.  

The current language in our state constitution does indeed specify that every person born in the United States or naturalized as a citizen can vote, but it doesn’t specify that non-citizens can’t vote — and this is a loophole that is at risk of exploitation. We no longer have the luxury of potentially ambiguous gray areas and unsecured loopholes in our laws, especially when it comes to elections.  

It’s a fact that more than 10 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States since President Joe Biden took office. Hundreds of individuals apprehended at the border have been found to be on the terrorist watchlist. Others have been found to have connections to the Chinese Communist Party and violent organized crime rings. It’s not unreasonable to say we don’t want individuals with these connections voting in our elections.  

Our bill would ensure these individuals can’t cast a ballot in North Carolina and remove any potential for outside influence in our elections.What happens if we don’t pass this? A loophole remains in our constitution that could allow non-citizens to vote in our elections. Despite the Left’s claims that this isn’t happening, it indeed is, and non-citizen voting does have the potential to sway elections.  

Municipalities in Washington, D.C., California, Maryland, and Vermont all allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. And in New York City, a law would have allowed 800,000 non-citizens to vote for mayor, city council, and local races. This number surpassed the margin of New York City’s 2020 mayoral race — meaning non-citizen voting could have swayed the election had the law not been found unconstitutional.  

The risk of outside influence in our elections through non-citizen voting should give anyone pause, regardless of political party.  

North Carolina isn’t alone in seeking to close this loophole. By adjusting the language in our state constitution to explicitly ban non-citizen voting, we would join states like Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Ohio, which have similar constitutional language. Other states, like Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, will also be voting on similar bans this fall.  

The threat to our elections is clear. But we can solve this real and pressing problem once and for all with a simple change to the language in our state constitution.

John Bell is the Republican House majority leader in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

North Carolina elections should only be decided by legal voters — and that means only U.S. citizens. I am proud to support this important piece of legislation and confident the voters of North Carolina will approve this logical step to keep our elections secure from outside influence.