Hill Republicans seek to overturn bill allowing non-citizens to vote in Washington, D.C. elections

"Allowing illegal immigrants to vote is an insult to every voter in America" – Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton

Updated: January 13, 2023 - 4:08pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Two congressional Republicans are trying to overturn a bill that would allows non-citizens to vote in Washington, D.C., elections.

Kentucky Rep. James Comer and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said this week that they would introduce legislation opposing a bill passed in the Democrat-led D.C. Council that would allow illegal immigrants to vote in elections. 

"Allowing illegal immigrants to vote is an insult to every voter in America," Cotton said.

The races in which the non-citizens could vote include those for the District's mayor, city council, attorney general, board of education and any initiative, referendum recall or charter referendum. However, it would not give them access to voting in federal elections.

GOP Rep. August Pfluger introduced a similar bill last year. 

“If you’re in the United States illegally, you don’t have the right to vote – period," the Texas lawmaker said. "Liberals in Washington, D.C. who want to allow non-citizens to vote are putting the integrity of our election system at risk. Americans deserve confidence in our elections and to know that only legal citizens are voting in the United States of America."

D.C. Council member Brianne Nadeau, who authored the bill, suggested the situation further makes clear D.C. must become a state, ending at least some of the congressional oversight of the city.

“I’m sure that Sen. Cotton and Rep. Comer do not think that Congress should be able to make and override the laws of Arkansas and Kentucky," he said. And yet they think they should be able to dictate the laws for 700,000 law-abiding residents of the District of Columbia and deny us the right to govern ourselves. This is exactly why Congress must finally make the District of Columbia the 51st state."