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    Allowing non-citizens to cast ballots being considered by mo

    Illegal immigration debate extends to voting booth

    Allowing non-citizens to cast ballots being considered by more cities

    By EUNICE MOSCOSO
    Cox News Service

    Published on: 11/07/07
    Should non-citizens be allowed to vote? Officials in Takoma Park, Md., think so. The city, a liberal enclave near the nation's capital, is one of a few local jurisdictions that encourage non-citizens to vote. Since Takoma Park does not ask for proof of legal residence, it is possible that illegal immigrants were casting ballots this week.

    In a few other small cities in Maryland, all residents are allowed to participate in local elections, regardless of citizenship status. Chicago allows non-citizens to vote in school board elections and New York City is considering a proposal to give voting rights to legal immigrants. New York City allowed non-citizens to vote in school board elections for more than three decades, until 2003.

    In addition, the Massachusetts cities of Amherst, Cambridge and Newton have approved measures to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, but the ordinances require approval of the state legislature, which hasn't acted yet.

    About a dozen other cities, including Portland, Maine, and Madison, Wis., are considering similar proposals, said Ron Hayduk, co-founder of the Immigrant Voting Project, a non-profit group that supports voting rights for non-citizens.

    Hayduk said that non-citizens are paying taxes, working, and in some cases, revitalizing entire neighborhoods and, therefore, should have a say in the future of their communities.

    "These people are stake holders," he said. "They have vested interests. They are non-citizen citizens."

    But others believe that allowing non-citizens to vote erodes the electoral process and the meaning of citizenship.

    Voting by non-citizens has become a hot political topic since Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York expressed support for a proposal by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.

    Two of her GOP rivals — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee — said that the plan could lead to fraud, with illegal immigrants casting ballots.

    "Voting is a precious right of a citizen. It is absolutely not the privilege that should be extended to somebody who is not a citizen of this country, period," Huckabee said.

    Experts said there is no evidence to support charges that illegal immigrants are committing fraud by casting ballots in any kind of significant way.

    "Voting by illegal immigrants has not been a serious problem in the United States. Indeed, evidence of election fraud by individuals is almost nonexistent," said Thomas Mann, a congressional scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "I doubt illegal immigrants would try to use driver's licenses to vote. ... Voting is low on their list of priorities."

    But opponents say that the problem of illegal immigrants voting has not been studied so there is no way to know how much it has occurred.

    "One illegal immigrant voting is one too many," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates stronger immigration controls.

    Krikorian said that granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants would increase the instances of voter fraud, because of a 1993 law known as "Motor Voter," which allows people to register to vote when they get their driver's licenses.

    Rep. Brian Bilbray, a California Republican who chairs the House Immigration Reform Caucus, testified before Congress earlier this year that the potential for non-citizens voting is a growing concern, especially when you "consider the relaxed registration requirements and a lax screening process at the time of voting."

    "There is a very real possibility that non-citizens have affected the outcomes of elections in the past and will in the future," he said.

    There have been some isolated studies on non-citizens voting, including:

    • In Utah, a state audit in 2005 showed that more than 58,000 people who appeared to be illegal immigrants had driver's licenses and 383 used their license to register to vote. Of those, 14 voted in an election.

    • A 1997 investigation into a disputed House seat in California found that 743 non-citizens cast votes. The total was not enough to overturn the election which was narrowly won by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat.

    The idea of non-citizens voting is not so far-fetched.

    Non-citizens had the right to vote in the United States from 1776 to 1926, said Hayduk, who authored a book on the subject: "Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting Rights in the United States."

    Forty states and territories allowed non-citizens to vote in local, state, and even federal elections, and in many of those places, non-citizens were also allowed to run for office, he said.

    The situation changed after World War I, when Americans were feeling a strong backlash against immigrants.

    Hayduk said that excluding non-citizens from voting amounts to "taxation without representation" and is similar to the historical exclusion of African Americans and women from the electoral process.

    "Voting has always been about who's going to have a say," he said.

    Find this article at:
    http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/st ... _1107.html

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    Senior Member WhatMattersMost's Avatar
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    Should non-citizens be allowed to vote? Officials in Takoma Park, Md., think so. The city, a liberal enclave near the nation's capital, is one of a few local jurisdictions that encourage non-citizens to vote. Since Takoma Park does not ask for proof of legal residence, it is possible that illegal immigrants were casting ballots this week.

    In a few other small cities in Maryland, all residents are allowed to participate in local elections, regardless of citizenship status. Chicago allows non-citizens to vote in school board elections and New York City is considering a proposal to give voting rights to legal immigrants. New York City allowed non-citizens to vote in school board elections for more than three decades, until 2003.
    Gee I'm shocked . . . . Chicago let's dead people vote so this doesn't surprise me, however, to willingly admit to it is criminal.
    It's Time to Rescind the 14th Amendment

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    Senior Member gofer's Avatar
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    Yeah right...give non-citizens the right to vote and see how quick this Nation descends in anarchy. There is a HUGE difference between non-citizens now and non-citizens in the 1700's! How anybody could be foolish enough to even make a comparison is beyond me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member agrneydgrl's Avatar
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    I am not for immigrants voting, especially illegal ones.

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    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    Well isn't this just wonderful gateway for terrorism.

    Let's just give a terrorist cell access to the city council and control of public works like the water supply via the ballot box.

    Idiots!!!!!!!!!

    Dixie
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
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    Should non-citizens be allowed to vote? Officials in Takoma Park, Md., think so.
    IT IS NO WONDER MARYLAND IS STARTING TO GO DOWNHILL. NEIGHBORHOODS ARE BECOMING OVERCROWDED, LAWNS ARE USED AS PARKING LOTS, CHICKENS ARE KEPT AS PETS IN GARAGES (AND MAYBE FOR DINNER TOO?) AND FEWER PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH. [
    RIP Butterbean! We miss you and hope you are well in heaven.-- Your ALIPAC friends

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  8. #8
    Senior Member MyAmerica's Avatar
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    America cannot afford to have the Mexican government dictating American
    laws and policies at ANY level of government.

    I don't care if it's an election for dog-catcher.....no citizenship; no vote; no compromise!

    Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln
    "Distrust and caution are the parents of security."
    Benjamin Franklin

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Senior Member gofer's Avatar
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    Maybe when Takoma Park gets an illegal alien mayor, they will sing a different song. The mayor of Linwood, Ca. is a former illegal alien who worked as a janitor. It can happen. These liberal "progressives" haven't the brains or foresight to see beyond their kumbaya, "let's all hug" agenda. Sometimes, I think they're all potheads!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Paige's Avatar
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    This is a matter of life and death for America. Do we just need to hand it over and move to another country ourselves? Oh, wait, they would not let us in.
    <div>''Life's tough......it's even tougher if you're stupid.''
    -- John Wayne</div>

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