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Should Nevada Become an “Only Citizens Can Vote” State?

Should Nevada Become an “Only Citizens Can Vote” State?

May 06, 20243 min read

(Kelly Chapman) – Should atheists be allowed to vote for the Pope? Should members of the Ku Klux Klan be allowed to vote for the head of the NAACP? 

Sounds absurd, right? But some people are pushing hard all across the country to allow non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections.

The southern border crisis has resulted in millions of people illegally entering the United States and fanning out all over the fruited plains.  Many are voting illegally in our elections, but there’s a growing nationwide movement to allow them to do so legally.

That’s not right.

Supporters in favor of non-citizen voting argue that illegal immigrants who didn’t stand in line and go through the legal process of entering the U.S. nevertheless pay taxes and run businesses, and that allowing them to vote will encourage greater civic involvement and integration in American society.

I don’t buy it.

Opponents argue that voting is a fundamental aspect of national sovereignty and should be reserved for citizens only. It’s both a right and a responsibility of citizenship, reflecting commitment to the nation’s laws and constitution.

Critics further argue that allowing non-citizens to vote dilutes the power and voice of citizens, potentially altering the outcome of elections in ways that do not reflect the will of the citizenry.

Put me down as one of those critics.

In 1996, Congress passed a law prohibiting people in the United States illegally from voting in presidential and congressional races. However, that law does not apply to state and local elections.

In fact, non-citizens are currently allowed to vote legally in local and school board races in five states and the District of Columbia.

Nevada is not one of those states. Yet.

But the growing nationwide non-citizen voting movement to allow illegal immigrants to vote in local elections could come here because Nevada is an “all” state, not an “only” state. Let me explain...

Article 2, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution says that “all citizens of the United States... shall be entitled to vote for all officers that now or hereafter may be elected by the people.” But it doesn’t specifically prohibit non-citizens from voting.

A simple, one-word amendment to the Constitution would fix that. Just change “all” to “only.”

Such a change has been enacted in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana,Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming. The constitutions of those states say that “only” citizens of the United States are eligible to legally vote in any of their elections.

Nevada should join them. If you want to vote in Nevada elections, you should legally become a U.S. citizen, just as millions of legal immigrants have already done.

As such, if elected to the State Assembly in November, I intend to sponsor, co-sponsor, support, and/or vote for placing a “Citizen Only Voting Amendment” (COVA) on the ballot to amend Nevada’s constitution with a simple, one-word change to make us an “only” state.

Who’s with me?

Ms. Chapman is a retired Las Vegas high-limit casino pit boss and 2024 candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 8. For more information, please visit Kelly can be reached at

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