The prevailing trend of treating voting-rights as a privilege for citizens has been challenged by a lively debate among democratic theorists. Growing numbers of resident non-citizens and non-resident citizens are likely to make voting-rights regulations more politically salient. Yet, these issues are largely missing in studies of public opinion and little is known about the support for the citizenship-requirement and its more or less democratic alternatives. Informed by normative democratic theory, this article opens the research field by conducting the first comprehensive study of attitudes toward competing requirements for voting-rights, using a conjoint experiment on a nationally representative sample of U.S. citizens. The results indicate that considerable proportions of respondents support a residency-requirement and a democratically dubious economic contribution-requirement, restricting voting-rights to taxpayers only. Nevertheless, the current citizenship-requirement is supported by a majority across sociodemographic groups, indicating sociological legitimacy of the current order and some but limited leeway for changes.
Jonas Hultin Rosenberg and Johan Wejryd, Attitudes toward competing voting-right requirements: Evidence from a conjoint experiment, Electoral Studies, 2022.