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Georgia Secretary of State wants citizenship requirement for voting to be added to state constitution

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2020 file photo, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Rep. Jody Hice, a Tea Party favorite and Trump acolyte, is the first major challenger to Brad Raffensperger since the secretary of state incensed the president by certifying President Joe Bidens narrow victory in Georgia and disputing Trumps false allegations of fraud. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2020 file photo, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Rep. Jody Hice, a Tea Party favorite and Trump acolyte, is the first major challenger to Brad Raffensperger since the secretary of state incensed the president by certifying President Joe Bidens narrow victory in Georgia and disputing Trumps false allegations of fraud. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Existing Georgia code requires voters in state elections to be U.S. citizens, but Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wants to take that a step further.

He’s calling on the General Assembly to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters that would make the citizenship requirement for voting part of the Georgia constitution.

“Voting is a sacred responsibility for American citizens, and everyone should agree that only American citizens should vote,” Raffensperger said during a Wednesday news conference at the Capitol. “If you’re not opposed to the existing Georgia code that requires voters to be citizens, there is no reason not to enshrine it in the constitution of the state of Georgia.”

Raffensperger said he anticipates a court battle over the proposed amendment, but he’s ready for it.

His proposal comes as Georgia election officials are mailing notifications to more than 185,000 registered voters, starting a process that could ultimately result in them being removed from the voter rolls if they don’t take action.

The notices are being sent to people who haven’t participated in an election or had other contact with the state’s election system for the past five years.

That means they haven’t voted, asked for an absentee ballot, updated their registration by changing their address, signed a petition or renewed their driver’s license.

If the 185,666 people targeted by the notifications do not respond within 30 days, they will be classified as “inactive.” They will still be able to vote as usual while on the inactive list, and casting a ballot should move them back to the active voter list.

According to 11Alive, Georgia’s new absentee ballot request forms, created by Raffensperger’s office, now require voters to write down a Georgia driver’s license number or state identification card number.