Noncitizens Having the Right to Vote

This should be the new campaign in cities and school boards, particularly in cities where undocumented immigrants comprise a substantial part of the population.  They pay taxes and contribute immensely to local economies.  This is taxation without representation — and they should have the right to vote.

As this op-ed relates, a number of jurisdictions have taken the lead and made it a reality.

“There are now a handful of U.S. jurisdictions where noncitizens have a right to vote in some elections. In six towns in Maryland since the 1990s, all residents (except felons serving sentences or those judged mentally incompetent by a court) can vote in local elections. Chicago permits all noncitizen parents of schoolchildren to vote in school district elections. In California, all parents can participate in “parent trigger” votes to change the administration of their children’s schools.

Next year, the New York City Council will take up a bill — which has broad political support — that would allow noncitizens lawfully residing in the U.S. to vote in local elections. In March, Burlington, Vt., voters will decide on a similar ballot proposition to let legal permanent residents vote in local elections. The District of Columbia has a similar bill pending.”

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