The hidden motive behind U.S. voters' stance on noncitizen voting 

A new study from the University of Florida exposes a driving force fueling the debate on voting rights

The right to vote is a cornerstone of electoral democracy, but a new study suggests that support for this principle often hinges on the perception of who will benefit. The findings shed light on a hotly debated topic of noncitizen voting rights in the United States.

On one hand, critics argue that allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections threatens the integrity of national-level elections. On the other, supporters advocate for these rights to uphold democratic representation. The study, published in the American Political Science Review, uncovers a more pragmatic motivation behind these stances.

According to University of Florida political scientist Hannah Alarian, co-author of the study, “U.S. voters are more likely to support granting noncitizens the right to vote locally if it benefits their own party. Both Democratic and Republican voters oppose noncitizen voting rights if they believe noncitizens would vote for the opposing party.” 

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Lauren Barnett May 21, 2024