Oct. 30, 2018

Who Is Allowed to Vote in the United States?

With election day coming up, many are wondering whether or not immigrants have voting rights in the United States. The answer isn’t quite so black and white. Depending on immigration status, individuals may be prohibited from voting in local, state, and federal elections.


Native United States Citizens

A native citizen of the United States is one that was born in the United States, and/or has citizenship through their parents. Native citizens who are 18 years of age or older are permitted to vote in local, state, and federal elections within the United States. Citizens must have been a resident of the state and district they wish to vote in for a determined period of time, with documented proof of residence to be eligible to vote.


Naturalized United States Citizens

Naturalized citizens of the United States are those who formerly held citizenship in a foreign country and have since gained citizenship in the United States. Those who have been granted citizenship in these circumstances are granted the same voting privileges as a natural-born citizen, meaning they are eligible to vote after turning 18-years-old.

Wondering if you can become a naturalized citizen? We can help.


Permanent Residents of the United States

Permanent residents of the United States are those who hold Green Cards, or Permanent Resident Cards. These individuals are able to live and work in the United States, however, they do not hold United States Citizenship. Permanent residents are not able to vote in federal elections, but some states and districts do allow permanent residents to vote in state and local elections. A permanent resident would need to contact their local Board of Elections to determine whether or not their state or district permits them to vote. 

It’s important to note that each state has their own set of requirements for elections. To register to vote, change your party, change your documented place of residence, or if you have other questions about your registration status, contact your local Board of Elections for further direction. If you need assistance with your immigration status, contact an experienced attorney at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna today.