Proposal to reinforce ban on non-citizen voting fails in Georgia Senate

State Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Cumming, spoke Tuesday in favor of House Resolution 51, which seeks to start negotiations with Tennessee and North Carolina over its border. Dolezal is pictured here on March 5, 2019.   Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

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State Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Cumming, spoke Tuesday in favor of House Resolution 51, which seeks to start negotiations with Tennessee and North Carolina over its border. Dolezal is pictured here on March 5, 2019. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

The Georgia Senate voted down a proposed constitutional amendment making clear that only citizens are allowed to vote, a restriction that's already in state law.

The Georgia Constitution says that citizens are entitled to vote. The proposed amendment would have changed the Constitution's language to say that only citizens can vote.

A state law bans non-citizens from voting, but state Sen. Greg Dolezal said that requirement should be enshrined in the Constitution.

"The constitutional amendment would raise the bar," said Dolezal, a Republican from Cumming, the sponsor of Senate Resolution 818.

The state Senate voted along party lines, 33-19. A two-thirds majority is needed to approve proposed constitutional amendments.

"I'm confused. It appears that what you're trying to do is already in the law," said state Sen. Elena Parent, a Democrat from Atlanta. "Has this been an issue? Because I haven't heard of this issue."

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