DC City Council Approves Bill that Might Allow Noncitizens to Vote

By a vote of 12 to 1, the Washington, D.C. city council approved a measure that, if it were to become law, would let noncitizens cast ballots in local elections, Fox News informed.

A noncitizen who is otherwise eligible to vote may do so in municipal elections provided they have lived in Washington, D.C. for at least 30 days, according to a bill sponsored by council member Charles Allen.

Allen stated before the vote at Tuesday’s legislative session that the bill is consistent with the D.C. principles and the council’s history of extending the ability to vote and encouraging new voices into the political process and administration.

He asserted that every immigrant neighbor, regardless of status, takes part in, contributes to, and cares about the city’s community.

They should be allowed to participate in the political process, just like all other DC citizens.

They raise their families here and give back to the neighborhood.

They manage firms that the public relies on, and they contribute taxes that we allocate.

However, they are unable to choose the municipal authorities who govern their bodies, their enterprises, and their tax money.

Allen continued by saying that D.C. already enables those who do not pay taxes, do not have a fixed address, are incarcerated, are college students from “far-away states,” and are illiterate to cast a ballot.

Whether someone who’s a complete stranger to the town, to the country, who just so happened to be delivered on a bus from Texas and managed to be resident for 30 days could actually vote in the elections, Cheh remarked, noting that her issue was not about immigration status.

She noted that the original version of the bill provided for permanent residency and asserted that there should be “something more than 30 days.”

The 30-day timeframe is “extremely flimsy,” she claimed, adding that she would accept even 60 days.

In December 2021, New York City passed a measure with a similar 30-day minimum.

That bill was swiftly challenged in court, and in June a New York judge declared that it was unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

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